chapter  3
16 Pages

Truth in Emblems

Should emblems be regarded as embodying truth? e question contains many unstated sub-questions as well as assumptions. ere were thousands of emblems printed between 1531, when Alciato started it all, and last year. We think that we know of at least 6,500 books of emblems and imprese, and the copies of these books may well have contained around 100 million emblems. When speaking of emblems, do we mean the combination of image and text(s); the pictorial motif, which usually at least reappeared in the text(s) of the emblem; perhaps the application of the motif in an inscriptio, a subscriptio or perhaps in a commentary? Or by emblem we may perhaps think of the meaning of the motif in a stated or unstated application.