Volume 2 (2018)

Emblematica: Essays in Word and Image, Vol. 2 (2018)
Edited by Mara R. Wade
ISSN 2571-5070
ISBN-13 978-2-600-05953-4
456 p.

Preface to Volume 2


Denis L. Drysdall
Andrea Alciato: The Law and the Emblems

This article describes the traces of the emblems in the judicial works and the evidence these offer to help us understand the emblems. There are three sections: The first addresses Alciato’s relations with his own colleagues and other teaching professions; the second, the connection Alciato himself makes between emblems and legal presumptions; and the third, Alciato’s own experience of the law itself as a subject or formative element of the emblems. I conclude that the Emblematum liber was not entirely legal in provenance or in the bulk of its content. Alciato’s reintroduction of rhetorical argument into legal discourse and his adaptation of devices nevertheless place him at the beginning of a movement that led to a whole tradition of legal emblem books.

Cornelia Niekus Moore
Emblematic Schools of Virtue and Vice: Lucas Martini’s Ehrenkräntzlein (1580) and Lasterspiegel (1592)

Although Lucas Martini, author of Der Christlichlichen jungfrawen Ehrenkräntzlein and Der Jungen Leute Lasterspiegel (Prague, 1580 and 1592), never used the word Sinn-Bild in reference to his work, he was thoroughly familiar with the tradition that employed samples of flora and fauna as “examples” (Exempel), “parables” (Gleichnije), or “allegories” (Allegorien). According to the forewords of the above-mentioned texts, his “books” of reference were God’s creation, the Church fathers, and the Bible, with its shrewd snakes and its lilies of the field, which stood for abstract concepts of virtue and vice. The flower illustrations in the Ehrenkräntzlein, which exemplify a compendium of virtues, and the women figures in the Lasterspiegel, who portray various vices, are each followed by a subscriptio of several pages, once again relying on tales from the Bible and from history to entice young readers to practice virtue and avoid vice. While following tradition in many respects, Martini proclaims that he is the first to write for girls. The following article examines these early examples of children’s literature within the context their time, considering the importance of the emblematic illustrations in the works’ educational message as well as the role of the Prague publisher/printer Michael Peterle in the execution of the emblems.

Walter S. Melion
Hendrick Goltzius’s Method of Exegetical Allegory in His Scriptural Prints of the 1570s

Trained by the Dutch polymath Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert who was an accomplished engraver, moral philosopher, and theologian, Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617) became closely associated in the mid-l 570s with his teacher’s method of scriptural exegesis. Coornhert, a proponent of Catholic Reform, opposed all forms of sectarianism, whether Roman Catholic, Lutheran, or Calvinist, and espoused close reading of the Bible as an antidote to religious strife and dogmatic orthodoxy. His approach to biblical interpretation can best be described as intertexual: he eschews mediating glosses and commentaries and, instead, relies upon scripture to expound itself, by searching for thematic analogies among key passages from the Old and New Testaments, which are then read in tandem. He also anchors the process of exegetical image making in parabolic allegory, as licensed by Christ in the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:2-23; Mark 4:2-34; Luke 8:4-18). Goltzius adapted Coornherc’s method of scriptural exegesis most fully in an extensive series of biblical allegories-the Allegories on the Life of Christ and the Allegories of the Christian Creed-invented and engraved between 1578 and 1580 for the Antwerp-based print publisher Philips Galle. Whereas the former series focuses on the trope of spiritual vision, as applied to the image of God bodied forth by Christ, the latter series intensively explores the Roman Catholic doctrine of faith and works as the joint sources of salvation. The prints derive in form, function, and argument from Coornhert’s system of scriptural loci communes. Like Coornhert’s loci communes, they are organized under rubrics, generally inscribed as headings, such as “Infancy of Christ;” “Exemplar of Virtues,” “Passion of Christ;’ “Consolation of the Heavy-Burdened,” “Remission of Sins,” “To Build upon a Foundation of Stone,” or “To Build upon a Foundation of Sand.” Again like Coornhert’s commonplaces, Goltzius’s prints do not move unidirectionally toward a specific destination. The allegories share a distinctive format: small biblical scenes presented emblematically, with a titulus or lemma and a scriptural epigram, alternate with complementary biblical impresae; these emblematic devices enframe a large central scene consisting of biblical exempla, occasionally intermixed with personifications that body forth scriptural terminology. In the cases where the central scene simply narrates biblical events, it is the emblematic relation between the rubric (construable as lemma or motto), the central images, and the corollary texts and images in the frame (construable as verbal-visual epigrams) that signals the allegorical status and function of the pictura maior. In all cases, the central pictura operates as the tertium comparationis, visualizing the crux of the underlying analogy that unites the print’s numerous textual and pictorial components.
This article examines the distinctive form, function, and meaning of Goltzius’s scriptural allegories of the late 1570s, asking how they combine two species of hermeneutic machina-that of the biblical loci communes, as codified by Coornhert, and that of the biblical emblem.

Tamar Cholcman
Three Parts Divided: The Construction, Reconstruction, and Deconstruction of Festival Emblems

The inclusion of emblems in festival imagery during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries seems to stand at odds with the nature of such outdoor events, which were characterized by perpetual movement and a wealth of distractions. The interpretation of these emblems required humanistic practices that extended temporality by establishing a unique private space for the literati within the public sphere and, once a recorded description of the event and its pictorial program had appeared in book form, by allowing for contemplation within the private study of the reader. The documentation of civic festivals created a dual existence for the emblems involved in these events, and the addition of an enduring, literary context allowed them to be constructed, reconstructed, and deconstructed in ways that transcended the limits of ephemeral presentation. This practice also gave rise to new approaches to spectatorship, linking the event, the book, and the learned spectator to form a scholarly-humanistic tripartite cycle.

Leticia Mercado
Sepulchral Space in Villamediana and Vaenius

This study reads the textual construction of the sepulchral space in two ekphrastic sonnets by Villamediana (c. 1629) in the light of three emblems in Otto Vaenius’s Quinti Horatii Flacci Emblemata (1607). Text-monument and emblem represent the tomb as the boundary where poetic voice and implicit reader confront the limits of language. Paradoxically, the site of death becomes a locus where the voice of fame proclaims the perfections of the virtuous soul and its defeat of silence. Ekphrastic text and emblematic image unite in defense of virtus inconcussa in the context of the culture of Counter-Reformation Europe.

Daniela Caracciolo
“The Images and Similitudes of Things”: The Symbolic Ars in the Works of Giulio Cesare Capaccio

This paper examines Giulio Cesare Capaccio’s treatise Delle imprese (1592), which provides an extensive overview of numerous symbolic images as well as a summary of the prevailing interpretive theories collected with them during the sixteenth century. After clarifying Capaccio’s methodology in preparing this work, and identifying his figurative, iconographic, and literary sources, the following article analyzes his theoretical approach to Delle imprese in relation to his other symbolic works, including the Apologi con le dicerie morali (1602) and the Principe … tratto da gli emblemi dell’Alciato … (1620). Examining these works together reveals Capaccio as a proponent of the late sixteenth-century cultural mindset that conceived of imprese, emblems, and hieroglyphics as teaching aids: the bearers of ethical and moral tenets shared by the elite members of late Renaissance Italian society. Thus, Capaccio not only demonstrates his expertise in deciphering and interpreting symbols; he also proves himself a prolific constructor of figures, which he designs with special regard to practical utility.

Katerina Dolejff
The Pearl of the Orient: Xaverian Emblems in a Jesuit Book of 1663 from Olomouc

This article cakes as its subject a small but remarkable book of emblems associated with the conferral of academic degrees at the Jesuit university in Olomouc, a small town in central Moravia. With the exception of recent publications, by Lubomír Konečný and Jaromír Olšovský, treating the oldest emblematic work from Olomouc, Emblematica VII Artes Liberales [Emblems of the seven liberal arts] (1597), emblems from this region have received almost no scholarly attention. The second-oldest known emblem book from Olomouc, entitled Divus Franciscus Xaverius Magnus Indiarum Apostolus in symbolica decade In honorem annorum decem in Indiis exantlatorum adumbratus et epigrammatum centuria expressus … (1663), details the life and missionary work of St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552). The emblems contained within it are the result of a collaboration between students and teachers of poetics at the university and the artist Martin Antonin Lublinsky (1636-1690 ), one of the foremost central European print designers of the latter half of the seventeenth century. He studied philosophy from 1656 to 1659 at the Olomouc University and worked for most of his career in Olomouc. In addition to the contributions by the aforementioned, each emblem in Divus Franciscus Xaverius… bears a quotation from Torsellino’s biography of Xavier, De vita Francisci Xaverii, first published in 1594, or from another similar source. The following offers descriptions of the ten emblems in Divus Franciscus Xaverius… and seeks to establish probable sources of inspiration for each. Consideration is also given to the excerpts from external sources (such as Torsellino’s biography) and how they might further illuminate the book’s portrayal of Xavier’s life.

Ulrich Schöntube
Church Emblems and Their Literary Sources in Brandenburg and Upper Lusatia

Emblems in church interiors are most frequently based on printed emblem books. Focusing on twelve emblematic decoration schemes found in churches in the Electorate of Brandenburg and the Margraviate of Upper Lusatia, this article explores the processes by which church emblems are formed from literary sources. In some cases, literary emblems or emblem cycles are “quoted” in their new, architectural contexts, without any change to their elements; in others, they are modified. Each case indicates a different reading and interpretation process. I argue, however, that the processes of intermedial transfer underlying these cases have enough in common to warrant categorization. What I propose here is a typology of church-emblem design, based on the relationships of the emblems studied to their sources in literature.


Christopher D. Fletcher and Matthew Krc
The Emblemata Politica in Context: A New Approach to Digital Facsimiles of Emblem Books


Pedro Germano Leal and Rubem Amaral Jr., eds.
Emblems in Colonial Ibero-America: To the New World on the Ship of Theseus,
by Carmen Ripolles

Peter M. Daly and G. Richard Dimler, S. J.
The Jesuit Emblem in the European Context,
by Katerina Dolejsi

Karl A. E. Enenkel and Paul J. Smith, eds.
Emblems and the Natural World,
by Simon McKeown

Jorg Roberts, ed.
lntermedialität in der Fruhen Neuzeit. Fonnen, Funktionen, Konzepte,
by Johannes Frohlich

Anja Wolkenhauer and Bernhard F. Scholz, eds.
Typographorum Emblemata: The Printer’s Mark in the Context of Early Modern Culture,
by Simon McKeown

Hans Westphal.
Sehnsucht nach dem himmlischen Jerusalem. Das Emblemprogramm der Stettener Schlosskapelle (1682),
by Jill Bepler

Hanna Pahl, ed.
Emblematic Strategies in Contemporary Art,
by Alison Adams

Ingrid Hopel and Simon McKeown, eds.
Emblems and Impact: Von Zentrum und Peripherie der Emblematik,
by Tamar Cholcman

Gregory Ems.
L’Emblematique au service du pouvoir: la symbolique du prince chretien dans /es expositions emblematiques du college des jesuites de Bruxelles sous le gouvernorat de Leopold-Guillaume (1647-1656),
by Anne Rolet and Elizabeth Black (trans.)

Otto van Veen.
Physicae et Theologicae Conclusiones (1621) Conclusions
de Physique et de Theologie,
by Alison Adams 408

Florence Vuillewnier Laurens.
L’Universite, la robe et la librairie a Paris. Claude Mignault et le Syntagma De Symbolis (1571-1602),
by Valerie Hayaert

William E. Engel, Rory Loughnane, and Grant Williams.

The Memory Arts in Renaissance England: A Critical Anthology,
by Michael Bath

Michael Bath.
Emblems in Scotland. Motifs and Meanings,
by Mara R. Wade

Volume Index