Volume 6 (2024)

Emblematica: Essays in Word and Image, Vol. 6 (2024)
Edited by Tamar Cholcman and Pedro Germano Leal
ISSN 2571-5070
ISBN 978-2-600-06547-4
226 p.

Preface to Volume 6

In Memoriam

Memories of Alan R. Young
Memories of Margaret M. McGowan
Memories of Nuccio Ordine
Memories of Sibylle Penkert


Walter S. Melion
“Haeretici typus, et descriptio”: Heretical and Anti-Heretical Image-Making in Jan David, SJ’s Veridicus Christianus

Jan David’s catechetical emblem book Veridicus Christianus (1601) opens with five chapters on the nature of human sin, chief among which is the sin of idolatry, followed by a complementary series of ten chapters on heresy, the most heinous form of idolatry, and on
the chief means of combatting its pernicious effects—namely, antiheretical image-making. The ten chapters on heresy place the modus operandi of the heretical image in opposition to its anti-heretical counter-image. David argues that heresy, since it propagates by means
of seductive images that purvey falsehoods even while appearing true, requires to be challenged by recourse to three types of adverse pictorial image designed to free the eyes, mind, and heart from doctrinal fictions. He traces the lineage of anti-heretical imagemaking back to Moses, who was taught by God to construe leprosy as a typus haereseos [image of heresy], and then to Christ, who renewed the Mosaic image by substituting for it the more vivid parabolic image of a ravening wolf in sheep’s clothing. The essay that follows examines David’s bipartite notion of the heretical image, its body and soul, as a prelude to exploring the fundamental polarity he adduces between true and false, heretical and anti-heretical image-making.

Michael Bath
Memorializing Mary: Impresa Portraits of Mary Queen of Scots

A hitherto unknown portrait of Mary Queen of Scots that was offered for sale recently by a London antiques dealer deserves to be recognized as a particularly interesting addition to the known corpus of portraits in which the Queen’s image is associated with imprese that sum up Mary’s posthumous status as a victim or martyr to her Catholic faith. The portrait includes an inset emblem showing Noah releasing the biblical dove that assured him that he was within reach of the Promised Land. The inclusion of such symbolic details is a recognized feature of several further posthumous portraits, most of which can be shown to go back to a miniature by Hilliard. The image of Noah’s ark, however, also has a precedent in the V&A’s Armada Jewel, created to compare England’s triumph over Spain to Noah’s occupation of the Promised Land. In 1633 Noah’s dove is also associated by the English Jesuit Henry Hawkins with the dove of the Annunciation that descended on the Virgin Mary. These contemporary analogues supply the historical context in which the newly discovered portrait deserves to be interpreted.

Denis L. Drysdall
Why did Barthélemy Aneau Translate “line for line”?

Aneau gives five reasons for adopting his line-for-line translation method: “Firstly, in order to emulate ancient poets who translated sometimes line for line . . . Secondly in order to retain the conciseness of epigrams, which should not be amplified in long sentences. Thirdly, because emblems need to be brief, for lengthy verse would require too much space on the objects to be ornamented . . . Fourthly, to demonstrate to the defamers of the French language that it can be the equal of Latin in ‘laconic brevity’ . . . Fifthly because he is confident that he can do it”—but was that all? This paper suggests what the real historical circumstances of his choice were.

Gitte Vertommen
“Youth and Lush Greenery, that Attracts Tremendously”: the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Country House as an Amorous Meeting Place in Cats’s Emblematic Oeuvre

The representation of the seventeenth-century culture of the country house in the emblematic oeuvre of moralist Jacob Cats (1577–1660) provides the focus of this study. The emblems’ picturae serve as starting points to identify and analyze the different elements typical of this
cultural phenomenon. In his emblems Cats connects the country estate as an amorous meeting place for the young bourgeoisie to moral lessons in a recognizable, and thus pleasing, way. He also demonstrates his wit by combining, for example, both known proverbs and a popular and amusing setting into a witty moral lesson.

Raul Dal Tio
The Pia Desideria in the Castle of Baron Vallaise in the Aosta Valley: Iconographic Sources and Devotional Choices

Around 1670, in the castle of Baron Vallaise in Arnad (Italy, Aosta Valley), thirteen emblems taken from Herman Hugo’s Pia Desideria were painted. The iconographic source is one of the small format editions printed in Paris between 1647 and 1670. The choice of images was not accidental, as demonstrated by the sequence of emblems that traces a meditative path through all three books of the Pia Desideria, which are based on the three levels of spiritual asceticism defined by St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Alison Adams
Combinations of Word and Image: The Hoxa Tapestries by Leila Thomson (1959–2022)

The artist Leila Thomson produced both large tapestries and rugs, using the colors of her native Orkney. She regularly associated text with her work, and published a kind of anthology with accompanying verse, in her Words and Tapestry (2008). The format is much like that of many emblem books. But can her creations be described as emblematic? Some of the tapestries incorporate the text within the tapestry and it is these examples that are my main focus.
Although Thomson had no formal knowledge of the genre, I argue that a genuine emblematic mentality, including a didactic element, can be detected.


Denis L. Drysdall.
Andrea Alciato, the Humanist and the Teacher. Notes on a Reading of his Early Works,
by Valérie Hayaert

María José Cuesta García de Leonardo.
Las empresas de la eternidad. Juan de Santiago y la retórica verbo-visual jesuítica,
by John T. Cull

José Manuel B. López Vázquez.
Los Desastres de la Guerra. Exvotos de Goya para el desengaño,
by José Julio García Arranz

Johann Anselm Steiger.
Emblematik in Sakralbauten des Ostseeraums, vols. 1-3,
by Ingrid Höpel

Johann Anselm Steiger.
Emblematik in Sakralbauten des Ostseeraums, vols. 4-5,
by Ulrich Schoentube

Johann Anselm Steiger.
Emblematik in Sakralbauten des Ostseeraums, vols. 6-7,
by Marcin Wisłocki

Volume Index