Emblems in the Free Imperial City

Emblems, Empire, and Identity in Early Modern Nürnberg


Civic virtues were central to early modern Nürnberg’s visual culture. These essays in this volume explore Nürnberg as a location from which to study the intersection of art and power. The imperial city was awash in emblems, and they informed most aspects of everyday life. The intent of this collection is to focus new attention on the town hall emblems, while simultaneously expanding the purview of emblem studies, moving from strict iconological approaches to collaborations across methodologies and disciplines.

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Mara R. Wade, Ph.D. (1985, University of Michigan) is professor emerita of Germanic Languages & Literatures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a past president (2020–22) of the Renaissance Society of America. She has published widely on emblems, court studies of Germany and Scandinavia, gender studies, and German literature and the arts in the early modern period. She is an associate editor of Emblematica: Essays in Word and Image and the PI for Emblematica Online.

Christopher D. Fletcher, Ph.D. (2015) is Assistant Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He has published articles, book chapters, and co-edited volumes on religion and various forms of public engagement in medieval and early modern Europe, including emblems. He often shares the Newberry’s pre-1800 collections with the public through in-person collection presentations, exhibitions, social media, and digital resources.

Andrew C. Schwenk is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Germanic Languages & Literatures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation focuses on imaginative travel and its relationship to social change in early modern German literature.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

1 Nürnberg in the Seventeenth Century: Seeing an Early Modern City through Emblems
Christopher D. Fletcher

2 “Inscriptiones Picturæ et Emblemata”: How Nürnberg’s Town Hall Emblems Came to the Newberry Library, Chicago
Mara R. Wade

3 The Exterior of Nürnberg’s Rathaus and the Art of Good Government
Jeffrey Chipps Smith

4 Images as Language: Dürer, the Triumphal Arch and the Emblem in Nürnberg
Thomas Schauerte

5 The Migration of Emblems through Nürnberg’s History: From Triumph to Civic Memory
Tamar Cholcman

6 Some Examples of Applied Arts from the Free Imperial City of Nürnberg
Silvia Glaser

7 Rem’s Emblemata Politica in Context. Political Emblem Books in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century
Victoria Gutsche

8 Old and New Town Hall Emblems: Johann Conrad Rhumelius and the Emblemata Curialia Auctiora of 1629
Werner Wilhelm Schnabel

9 The Life of Dr. Georg Rem: Transcription and Translation of Siegmund Jakob Apin’s “VITA D. GEORGII REMI” 1721 (introduced by Mara. R. Wade)
Jessica R. Wells

10 Mapping the Hand and Scanning the Forehead: Embedding Knowledge in Astrological Images
Stephanie Leitch

11 Adding the Rötenbeck Manuscript to Emblematica Online, A Virtual Corpus for Research and Teaching
Timothy W. Cole
This book addresses a broad readership interested in the intersection of art and politics, with a central focus on early modern Nürnberg. Its methodologies and approaches are widely applicable to a number of fields in history, literature, and the arts. While its narrow focus is emblematics and political allegories, the volume addresses ideas of art and the creation of civic virtues for the Common Good. Keywords: early modern Nürnberg, modern Nuremberg, emblems, politics, allegories, arts, literature, Dürer, book history, public virtues, Common Good.
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