Friday, September 19, 2014


Sorrow and Happiness of Book Lovers

Karel Porterman, Emblematic Exhibitions (affixiones) at the Brussels Jesuit College (1630-1685): Study of the Commemorative Manuscripts (Royal Library, Brussels), tr. Anna E.C. Simoni (Brussels: Royal Library; Turnhout: Brepols, 1996), p. 148 (discussing Brussels, Royal Library, MS. 20.331):
In the emblem pair on the happiness and the sorrow of bookworms Rhetor Willem van Langendonck and Poet Klaas de Koninck work even with the same pun. Considering that Liber can mean both book and the bark of a tree, the sadness of the intellectual — the lack of books — is represented by a tree which is having its bark pulled off (91r), fig. 1 The joy — the books — is signalled also by the healthy bark of an oak below which a seated genius is sitting writing (93r). fig. 2
Figures 1-2 (unfortunately not very clear in these scans) are on p. 149:

Hat tip: Ian Jackson.

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