Volume 4 (2020)

Emblematica: Essays in Word and Image, Vol. 2 (2018)
Edited by Mara R. Wade
ISSN 2571-5070
ISBN-13 978-2-600-06316-6
512 p.

Preface to Volume 4

In Memoriam

Memories of G. Richard Dimler, S.J


Ulrich Seelbach
Tobias Stimmer’s Emblematic Pictures in Johann Fischart’s Geschichtklitterung

This investigation of Johann Fischart’s employment of emblematic motifs sheds new light on the woodcut tide page of his Geschichtklitterung, his translation of François Rabelais’s Gargantua. Fischart’s oeuvre was inspired by visual artists, especially by the woodcuts designed by Tobias Stimmer, later used in various emblem books from Bernard Jobin’s Strasbourg publishing house. He understood emblems, imprese, and printer’s signets as inspirations for his word art, and they provided him with further impetus to embellish his texts. Stimmer and Fischart were inspired also by the signet of the printer Servatius Sassenus in Leuven to create a puzzling design for the tide page of the Geschichtklitterung: Stimmer’s woodcut and Fischart’s motto can be interpreted as a fictitious printer’s signet that was used only a single time.

Elise Gérardy
Emanuele Tesauro’s Poetics of the Device in the Light of Scholastic Logic

Emanuele Tesauro’s main work, the Cannocchiale aristotelico (1670), is usually discussed by scholars in the light of Aristotle’s Poetics and Rhetoric. However, recent developments in the field of the history of philosophy suggest including scholasticism in the analysis of literary theories of the seventeenth century, as this philosophy was still alive and well through this period. This essay shows how some scholastic concepts can be relevant to explain the theory of imprese provided by Tesauro by analyzing his theory of metaphor resorting to the scholastic logical analogy.

Michael La Corte
Emblem Ceilings and Walls in German Palaces and Manor Houses

This article presents occurrences of architectual emblems from their early developmental phase up to their establishment in the middle of the seventeenth century. These examples show that emblems were often used without other images as single art form for interior design in this early phase. These emblem rooms are distinguished by the place of the emblem’s attachment, that is, as emblem-coffered ceilings or emblem walls. Wood paneling with emblem paintings formed a separate room type in the second half of the seventeenth century, the Emblem Cabinet.

Walter S. Melion
De Virgine natalitia ad rapientem: Marian Maternity, Militancy, and Mimesis in the First Marian Emblem Book—Jan David, S.J.’s Pancarpium Marianum of 1607

Distinctive in form, function, and argument Jan David’s Pancarpium Marianum [Marian Garland] is the first emblem book entirely devoted to the Virgin Mary. It consists of fifty emblems subdivided into seven groups of seven (plus a closing fiftieth emblem) that expound the dual intercessory agency of Mary who is seen jointly to have brought Christ forth into the world and to mediate his coming forth internally within the votary’s heart. Each emblematic cluster attaches to a Marian titulus, which David construes multiply, not merely as a commemorative inscription or personal tide, but also as a claim to glory, fame, or honor, and as a head under which an action or, better, type of action is sanctioned. As he puts it, his emblem book operates like an intaglio press that deeply imprints the reader-viewer with images of the Virgin’s sevenfold relation to Christ, but more than this, the Pancarpium, if properly utilized, brings about the reader-viewer’s conversion into a living Marian image, causing him actively to reenact her septenary relation to the Lord. My paper examines the book’s titular sequence, asking how and why Mary, in her commerce with Christ, is portrayed consecutively as “giving birth” (natalitia), “nourishing” (nutritia), “Provisioning/ ornamenting” (ornans), “defending” (tutelaris), enticing/ensnaring” (alliciens), “fortifying” (corroborans), and finally, “seizing/taking captive” (rapiens). In a curious paradox, the emblems become increasingly dynamic, indeed martial, evoking military imagery even as they come more fully to signify how through Mary the votary is subsumed into the love of Christ.

Robin Raybould
Emblems and the Symbola of Pythagoras

Among the many sources of material for emblem books were the so-called Symbola of Pythagoras, a series of moral injunctions which came down to the Renaissance from classical times or earlier. A few of these such as “Abstain from beans,” “Do not step over a balance,” “Do not sit on a bushel” are familiar to us, but there were many more and as is to be expected from such an ancient corpus, there was much discussion among scholars of the time as to their origin, authenticity, history, and meaning. This article outlines the origins of the Symbola, then examines a number of the treatises commenting on them authored by some of the most distinguished humanists of the Renaissance, and finally reviews emblems composed by Alciato, La Perrière, Bocchi, Corrozet, Paradin, Coustau, and others who employed Symbola as source material and thus contributed to the ongoing debate as to their interpretation and significance. The article highlights the fact that the brevity, antiquity, and obscurity of the Symbola were ideal for the emblematists since these characteristics enabled polyvalent interpretations of their emblems thus giving added enjoyment and intellectual challenge to their readers.

Julia Krasnobaeva
The Numismatist Nils Keder (1659-1735) and his Emblematic Practice

Nils Keder (1659-1735) is famous as a scholar and antiquarian, as well as one of the first Swedish numismatists. However, his emblematic interests have not been sufficiently studied. The article deals with some of Keder’s manuscripts from the archives at the Royal Library in Stockholm as well as some other sources, which allow us to trace his emblematic studies and activities. All these materials make us sure that Keder’s emblematic experience was very serious and professional and that he was a deviser of emblems and imprese according to the highest standards of that time.


Dennis Duncan and Adam Smyth, eds.
Book Parts,
By Jill Bepler

Allison Steenson.
The Hawthornden Manuscripts of William Fowler and the Jacobean Court 1603-1612,
by Michael Bath

Frank-Thomas Ziegler.
Recueil Robertet: Handzeichnungen in Frankreich um 1500,
by Jean Michel Massing

Julia D’Onofrio.
Cervantes frente a la cultura simbólica de su tiempo. El testimonio de las Novelas ejemplares,
by Claudia Mesa Higuera

José Julio García Arranz and Pedro Germano Leal, eds.
Jeroglíficos en la Edad Moderna. Nuevas aproximaciones a un fenómeno intercultural,
by John T. Cull

Heather McAlpine.
Emblematic Strategies in Pre-Raphaelite Literature,
by Simon McKeown

Pauline Reid.
Reading by Design: The Visual Interfaces of the English Renaissance Book,
by Michael Bath

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

Walter S. Melion and James Clifton.
Through a Glass, Darkly: Allegory and Faith in Netherlandish Prints .from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt,
by Tamar Cholcman

Gitta Bertram and Nils Büttner.
Sinnbild / Bildsinn. Rubens als Buchkünstler,
by Tamar Cholcman

Volume Index