- (384-322 BCE)Contrary to Plato, who concentrated on abstract concepts, his pupil Aristotle advocated knowledge through empirical investigation. Aristotle was from Stageira on the coast of Thrace. His father, court physician to King Amyntas III of Macedon, died when Aristotle was still a child. At 18, Aristotle was sent by his uncle and guardian to Athens to complete his education. There he studied under Plato for 20 years, after which he moved first to the court in Atarneus and later back to Macedonia, where he became the tutor of the young Alexander the Great. Returning to Athens once Alexander's education was completed, he opened his own school of peripatetic philosophy. He left Athens when the pro-Macedonian government there was overthrown and went to Chalcis, where he died in 322 BCE.In the Renaissance, Aristotle became the most widely read author from antiquity. He held his place as the fundamental authority in the major universities in Europe from the 12th to the end of the 17th century. In both Protestant and Catholic primary and secondary schools, Aristotelian philosophical and scientific principles provided the basis for their curriculum. Among Aristotle's extant treatises are the Physics,Metaphysics, Poetics, Rhetoric, Politics, and Nichomachean Ethics. Aristotle's interest in the observation of nature and its phenomena did much to advance realism in painting and sculpture in the 13th century, when crusaders recovered his texts from Byzantium and brought them back to the West.
Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. Lilian H. Zirpolo. 2008.