Read the opening sentence of Aristotle’s Physics, inscribed within this beautiful portrait in a 15th-century illuminate manuscript in the Austrian National Library (Cod. phil. gr. 64, fol. 8v): "What constitutes knowledge or understanding, in all sciences that are concerned with principles or causes or elements...". Ἐπειδὴ τὸ εἰδέναι καὶ τὸ ἐπίστασθαι συμβαίνει, περὶ πάσας τὰς μεθόδους ὧν εἰσιν ἀρχαὶ ἢ αἴτια ἢ στοιχεῖα.
The anonymous artist caught the deep concentration in the philosopher’s eyes, and a great eye for colour. The covers of the books on his shelves pick up those of his elegant clothing.