Author: Michael Bath
Emblems in the visual arts use motifs which have meanings, and in Emblems in Scotland Michael Bath, leading authority on Renaissance emblem books, shows how such symbolic motifs address major historical issues of Anglo-Scottish relations, the Reformation of the Church and the Union of the Crowns. Emblems are enigmas, and successive chapters ask for instance: Why does a late-medieval rood-screen show a jester at the Crucifixion? Why did Elizabeth I send Mary Queen of Scots tapestries showing the power of women to build a feminist City of God? Why did a presbyterian minister of Stirling decorate his manse with hieroglyphics? And why in the twentieth-century did Ian Hamilton Finlay publish a collection of Heroic Emblems?

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Michael Bath, Emeritus Professor of Renaissance Studies in the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow, University of Glasgow, is President of the Society for Emblem Studies. He is author of numerous books and articles on art history, emblem studies and Reading Poetry.
" Emblems in Scotland is an outstanding contribution to the study of a genre that scholars from multiple disciplines often find elusive. This superb achievement consolidates its author’s standing in the field, while opening up some important new questions as to the valency of these enigmatic 'speaking pictures.'"
-Crawford Gribben, Queen’s University Belfast, March 2020, Journal of the Northern Renaissance

"I commend this work and, although not an easy subject to grasp, this book brings it to life with much pictorial illustration to help the reader understand the place such emblems played, and to an extent still play."
-Elizabeth Roads, Snawdoun Herald, in Journal of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society
List of Illustrations

1 A Jester at the Crucifixion? The Fool at Fowlis

2 A City of Famous Women: Esther Inglis, Georgette de Montenay, and Christine de Pisan

3 Protestant Emblems: Building the House

4 ‘Rare shewes and singular inventions’: Court Festivals and Royal Baptisms

5 Alexander Seton’s Suburban Villa: Neostoical Emblems and United Nations

6 Presbyterian Preaching: Hieroglyphical Paintings in Stirling

7 Quarles Comes North: Scottish Reception of the Emblemes

8 Mobilising the Gap: Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Inheritance

Photograph Credits
Learned readers and scholars interested in emblems, the Renaissance and Scottish cultural studies.