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Traditional narratives hold that the art and architecture of the Iberian Peninsula in the late 15th century were transformed by the arrival of artists, objects, and ideas from northern Europe. The year 1492 has been interpreted as a radical rupture, marking the end of the Islamic presence on the peninsula, the beginning of global encounters, and the intensification of exchange between Iberia and Renaissance Italy.
This volume aims to nuance and challenge this narrative, considering the Spanish and Portuguese worlds in conjunction, and emphasising the multi-directional migrations of both objects and people to and from the peninsula. This long-marginalised region is recast as a ‘diffuse artistic centre’ in close contact with Europe and the wider world. The chapters interweave several media, geographies, and approaches to create a rich tapestry held together by itinerant artworks, artists and ideas.
Contributors are Luís Urbano Afonso, Sylvia Alvares-Correa, Vanessa Henriques Antunes, Piers Baker-Bates, Costanza Beltrami, António Candeias, Ana Cardoso, Maria L. Carvalho, Maria José Francisco, Bart Fransen, Alexandra Lauw, Marta Manso, Eva March, Encarna Montero Tortajada, Elena Paulino, Fernando António Baptista Pereira, Joana Balsa de Pinho, María Sanz Julián, Steven Saverwyns, Marco Silvestri, Maria Vittoria Spissu, Sara Valadas, Céline Ventura Teixeira, Nelleke de Vries, and Armelle Weitz.
Space, Time, and Experience, 1300–1800
How did the early-modern Christian West conceive of the spaces and times of the afterlife? The answer to this question is not obvious for a period that saw profound changes in theology, when the telescope revealed the heavens to be as changeable and imperfect as the earth, and when archaeological and geological investigations made the earth and what lies beneath it another privileged site for the acquisition of new knowledge.
With its focus on the eschatological imagination at a time of transformation in cosmology, this volume opens up new ways of studying early-modern religious ideas, representations, and practices. The individual chapters explore a wealth of – at times little-known – visual and textual sources. Together they highlight how closely concepts and imaginaries of the hereafter were intertwined with the realities of the here and now.

Contributors include: Matteo Al Kalak, Monica Azzolini, Wietse de Boer, Christine Göttler, Luke Holloway, Martha McGill, Walter S. Melion, Mia M. Mochizuki, Laurent Paya, Raphaèle Preisinger, Aviva Rothman, Minou Schraven, Anna-Claire Stinebring, Jane Tylus, and Antoinina Bevan Zlatar
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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Abstract

Physical (print) copies of surviving Renaissance emblem books are distributed across rare book collections held by libraries in North America, Europe and elsewhere. The goal of Emblematica Online, and of the various library digitization projects on which it depends, is to bring a critical mass of these dispersed primary sources together in a virtual corpus so as to aid in the discovery of and use of emblems in ways to help illuminate Renaissance culture and thought. The ongoing challenge for Emblematica Online is to accomplish this in a manner that keeps pace with, facilitates, and expedites the new and evolving ways scholars seek and use digital information. This paper discusses the use of Linked Open Data (LOD) practices in Emblematica Online and describes some of the key functional, user-facing features of Emblematica Online, using the work done to integrate Newberry’s digitized Emblematica Politica into the portal as an illustrative case study. Among the lessons learned from this work is that libraries do not have a monopoly on pertinent information about persons (and potentially other entities) relevant to the study and analysis of of emblems and emblem books. Moreover libraries in isolation do not know about all the ways primary sources connect with each other and with other external information resources. Integrating LOD best practices into Emblematica Online presents opportunities for emblem scholars to engage beyond the research library, surfacing connectedness, context and knowledge that supplements traditional library resources and facilitates scholarship.

In: Emblems in the Free Imperial City

Abstract

Nürnberg’s Rathaus, like other early modern city halls, served as its administrative center. Yet it also embodied the civic identity of one of the wealthiest and most politically powerful towns in the Holy Roman Empire. It hosted imperial diets and other important gatherings in the Great Hall. My paper addresses the building’s architectural history from 1332 to 1622 and the exterior decorative campaigns of 1520–21/22 and 1616/17. The mural paintings and sculptures on the east, south, and west facades, collectively comprising the public face of the Rathaus, symbolically proclaimed Nürnberg’s civic aspirations and the wise rule of its council.

In: Emblems in the Free Imperial City

Abstract

Through his collaboration with Sebastian Brant (Ship of Fools, 1494) and Konrad Celtis (Philosophia, 1502), Albrecht Dürer came into contact with emblem-like word-image structures at an early stage. However, his illustrations for Willibald Pirckheimer’s translation of Horapollo’s Hieroglyphica for Emperor Maximilian I became even more important around 1514, because these constructs suddenly opened up the possibility of “speaking” with pictures. Dürer’s famous copperplate engraving Melencolia I of 1514 was based on this experience, as was Pirckheimer’s later painted program for the Nürnberg Town Hall. At its center was Maximilian’s great triumphal chariot, which for the first time worked with symbolic images and their explanations. Seen in the context of the large mural with the Calumny of Apelles and numerous panel paintings by the artist, the town hall was a veritable temple of Dürer’s fame throughout the sixteenth century. This fame was also consolidated literarily when Pirckheimer’s Opera politica appeared posthumously in 1610. It is precisely here that Michael Rötenbeck’s “Inscriptiones” from ca. 1620 evidently continues: with an imprint of Rem’s Emblemata at its center, Rötenbeck seems to have speculated on also seeing his own writings printed as opulently as those of the famous humanist Pirckheimer. This, however, was prevented by his early death.

In: Emblems in the Free Imperial City
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Abstract

This study traces the journey of Michael Rötenbeck’s hybrid manuscript, “Inscriptiones picturæ et emblemata …” (ca. 1620) from Nürnberg to Chicago, describes and analyzes its contents, introduces the manuscript’s compiler Rötenbeck, and then returns the focus to Nürnberg and the manuscript’s own context within Rötenbeck’s “Collectana,” Volumes IV of which are now held in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum. In so doing, it also presents the emblematic ecosystem in contemporary Nürnberg and the author of the town hall emblems Georg Rem. Rötenbeck recorded the past by documenting the inscriptions from Nürnberg’s most important civic spaces. The creation and maintenance of communal memory clearly gave impetus to his entire “Collectana.” Rötenbeck understood that it was important that Nürnbergers be anchored in their noteworthy past achievements and aim for the aspirations embodied in the town hall allegories.

In: Emblems in the Free Imperial City

Abstract

This contribution is both a transcription of the Latin and an English translation of the biography of Georg Rem that appeared in Siegmund Jakob Apin’s Vitae et effigies procancellarium Academiae Altorfinae, which appeared in 1721. The biography provides a brief overview of Rem’s life, accomplishments, and major works from an eighteenth-century perspective. Though quite short, the biography will show how esteemed Rem and his emblematic work, including the emblems inserted into Rötenbeck’s book, remained nearly a century after his death. Mara R. Wade contextualizes the transcription and translation by Wells in her introduction.

In: Emblems in the Free Imperial City

Abstract

The profusion of printed astrological texts circulating in the first few decades of the sixteenth century established a common visual vocabulary of diagnostic signs for the early modern reader/viewer. How-to texts relating to judicial astrology directed their readers to decipher planetary marks left on the palm (chiromancy), in the profile (physiognomy), or on the forehead (metoscopy) via a set of images that could be used for diagnoses. The printed images that guided such activities attempted to distill knowledge practices recommended by their books by organizing methods of diagnoses, establishing visual comparisons, and serving as mnemonic devices for memory retention. Recycled and repeated across a variety of projects, these images came to constitute visual data that privileged the images’ sovereignty. The shift in the relationship between word and image embedded in these intermedial translations provides a backdrop against which emblem production can be thrown into relief.

In: Emblems in the Free Imperial City
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Abstract

In 1612 the Holy Roman Emperor Matthias I entered Nürnberg. In his honor the same triumphal arch that had been used for the entries of Charles V (1541) and Maximilian II (1570) was re-erected and newly decorated for this specific occasion. On the arch’s top, below the obelisk, were four bird statues that can be identified as emblems borrowed from Alciato, Camerarius, and the Altdorf Academy. For the triumphal arch, however, they were made into free standing, three-dimensional statues.

This essay examines the journey of the four birds from Nürnberg, as shown through their various incarnations. From the academy prize medals at Altdorf to the ephemeral triumphal arch, to the paintings of the Nürnberg Town Hall, to Rem’s and Isselburg’s printed book Emblemata Politica, and finally to Michael Rötenbeck’s Newberry manuscript Wing MS 279, all four avian emblems appear only in textual form. With Rötenbeck, however, these emblematic birds were documented as part of Nürnberg’s visual legacy and public imagination, thereby acquiring a new position as city emblems.

In: Emblems in the Free Imperial City