- Museum number
- Series: Théâtre d'amour
Plate 1: Two cupids aiming their bows and arrows at the large heart below them; the heart is surrounded by two leafy branches at lower left and right; the ornate title of the emblem book is printed inside the heart, done in a calligraphic hand; pairs of ornamental flourishes decorate the borders
- Production date
- 1600 (circa)
Height: 184 millimetres
Width: 129 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is a collector's album containing three series of emblem books, in a modern binding, entitled 'THEATRE D'AMOUR' on the binding. On the second blank page preceding the title-page, a hand-written collector's note describes the album's contents in Spanish, totalling the number of prints in each series ('El primer trozo de este raro libro con / el titulo de Teatro del Amor tiere, con / la portado 2A laminar finar.....24. / La Sibilar. Segundo trozo.......15. / Emblemas de Amor. tercero trozo ..... 45. / Total.....8 A . la.', inscribed in brown ink). The edges of the pages are gilded with gold leaf.
The first emblem series is 'Théâtre d'amour' by an anonymous printmaker, after Daniel Heinsius and Jacob de Gheyn II's 'Quaeris quid sit Amor...' (first published in Amsterdam, ca. 1600). The iconography of the emblem is the same as Heinsius' emblems, but all are in reverse (except for emblems 1, 2, 5, 9 and 20). This set is not a replica of Heinsius' emblem book. It contains twenty-four emblems on love and a title-page and preface page, three of which are signed by Hugo Grotius; however, emblems 19 and 24 (New Hollstein 322 and 327) are missing from this set. Each sheet in this series, with the exception of the first, is comprised of a circular emblem, incorporating a Latin/French/Italian motto and Latin distich in the circular margin. The Latin distiches were originally by Petrus Scriverius. Six lines of French verse within a cartouche occupy the lower half of the print, in various styles of calligraphy. The plate numbers are not sequential; plate four, for example, is omitted from the set. For the making of 'Quaeris quid sit amor', Heinsius enlisted the combined efforts of his friends, including the engraver Jacques de Gheyn II and the lawyer/historian/statesman Hugo Grotius, as referenced by the inclusion of Grotius' initials within the circular margin. Quaeris quid sit amor' was hugely successful, with reprints appearing in rapid succession. For more information on the first emblem series, see M. Praz, 'Studies in Seventeenth Century Imagery' (2nd edition, Rome, 1964), p. 364 and A. Adams, S. Rawles and A. Saunders 'A Bibliography of French Emblem Books' (Geneva, 1999), F. 296, pp. 564-65.
The second series are of 'The Sibyls', (entitled 'XII Sibyllae...' on the title page), engraved by Pierre Firens after Crispin de Passe and published by Jean le Clerc, containing sixteen emblems portraying the twelve Sibyls. See 1889,0816.3.1-25 for information on this set.
This is followed by an independent engraving of the Virgin Mary, by Jaspar Isac, published by Jean le Clerc. This is unrelated to the other three emblematic series.
The third and final series is entitled 'Emblemes d'amour', comprising a set of forty-four love emblems and a title page, with no producers' details; the set is a French copy by an anonymous artist after Otto van Veen's 'Amorum Emblemata' (originally published in 1608, Amsterdam). For information on the third set, see Praz, pp. 524-25 and Adams, Rawles and Saunders, Vol. II, F. 593-94 (for the original editions) and F. 606 (for the French edition). For the series, see 1889,0816.6.1-45.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number