Corpus Selection

Focus of this project are Dutch love emblem books, religious as well as secular. We have selected the particular corpus of this project for a number of reasons, and with specific limitations in mind. The 25 emblem books we have chosen are first of all selected because of their uniquely Dutch character, and the special position they obtained in Europe. We have limited the selection to love emblem books published between 1600 and 1725 because om this period the Dutch love emblem was most influential in Europe. Only love emblem books first published in the Low Countries were selected. The selection was narrowed down even further to emblem books written - at least for a considerable part - in Dutch. For instance H. Hugo's Pia desideria (1624) was cut out of our selection because of this last consideration: all texts in this most important love emblem book first published in Antwerpen are in Latin.
The specific titles of our corpus are also selected on the basis of the existing knowlegde on the history and development of the Dutch love emblem. Some books that have been characterized as very familiar to emblem books - Cupido's lusthof and Nieuwen ieucht spieghel - are also incorporated in the corpus. In the development of a characteristically Dutch emblematics the Antwerp printer C. Plantijn (1520-1589) played a crucial role. In 1564 he published the volume Emblemata cum aliquot nummis antiqui operas by J. Sambucus (1531-1584). This was followed in 1565 by the first Dutch edition of Alciato's Emblematum liber. A second Neo-Latin volume, Emblemata, by the Dutchman H. Junius (1511-1575) appeared in that same year.
Soon thereafter Plantijn, together with the geographer A. Ortelius (1527-1598), took the initiative to place on the market Dutch translations of the volumes of Junius and Sambucus. Consequently, the first Dutch version of Sambucus's Emblemata appeared in 1566, followed in 1567 by a translation of Junius's Emblemata. Both Dutch publications were edited by M.A. Gillis van Diest (? - ?, sixteenth century).
Plantijn very likely had personal reasons for publishing the Dutch-language versions of Junius and Sambucus. The preface he wrote in 1567 for the French Sambucus translation by J. Grévin clearly testifies to an enthusiasm for the didactic and entertainment potential of the emblem. Economic motives probably played a role as well: the copper plates of the Latin editions of Sambucus and Junius could be reused for the Dutch publications and thus be made doubly profitable. What Plantijn could not have foreseen was that these editions would eventually yield much greater financial gain. With the publication of the Dutch versions the emblem genre came to interest an entirely new, and much larger public. Until then the Latin emblem collections had appealed primarily to a lettered and learned public. With the shift to volumes in the vernacular that segment of the Netherlandic population unschooled in Latin also became a target group for the makers and printers of emblem books. The targeting of even the female segment of the Dutch public after 1600 shows how far the search extended for "other readers" of the genre.
The literary and commercial success of Plantijn's first Dutch translations of emblem books continued after 1600 with the publication of original Dutch volumes. A stimulus for further Dutchification of the genre came from D. Heinsius (1580-1655), professor in Leiden. Heinsius combined the efforts of several of his friends (among them the engraver J. de Gheyn and jurist/historian/statesman H. Grotius) in the volume Quaeris quid sit amor? (Do you seek/ask what love is?). In 1601 the publication of this volume was a fact. Quaeris quid sit amor? proved a resounding success. Reprints appeared in rapid succession, and the new title given to the volume with the third printing - Emblemata amatoria - would grow into the label for a subgenre in international emblematics. The title of this first Dutch love emblem book indicates that the new subgenre had a very European side to it. Epigrams in languages other than the vernacular accompanied the picturae, and traces from Ovid's Metamorphoses and other important classical and contemporary sources can be everywhere in the book.
It was Rubens' teacher, the poet and artist Otto Vaenius whose Amorum emblemata was published in 1608, who thereafter played the largest role in the development of the Dutch love emblem. Vaenius's emblems were made for the European market. Vaenius and befriended artists collaborated in the production of epigrammata in Latin, English, Italian, French, Spanish and Dutch to accompany one set of picturae. Four editions with different sets of epigrams were published at the same time. Vaenius's example inspired Heinsius to republish his Quaeris, now named Emblemata amatoria (in 1607/8). A couple of years later, P.C. Hooft published his Emblemata amatoria (1611).
All of these emblem books have their roots in the Petrarchist tradition, with as leading motif a lamenting lover and an icy-hearted goddess. Further investigation is needed to establish the influence of the three exemplary emblem books of Vaenius, Heinsius and Hooft on the Dutch and European tradition.
In 1618, by publishing his Sinne- en minnebeelden, Jacob Cats founded a new tradition in the love emblems. In his works, Cats introduces realism and everyday life, in a serious attempt to change the Dutch outlook on love and marriage. The amatory emblems in the first part of this book were used again with a moral and religious explanation in the second and third part. The love emblem had obtained an religious dimension when O. Vaenius's Amoris divini emblemata was published in 1615. On this occasion, Vaenius rewrote the earlier secular emblems in a religious sense. Numerous poets followed in Vaenius's and Cats's footsteps; their ideas seem to have gained currency in catholic as well as protestant circles. The Counter-Reformation anthology Amoris divini et humani antipathia (1626/8/9) initiated and published by M. Snijders (?-?), for example, contains many borrowings from Cats. His Sinne- and minnebeelden served as the point of departure for the engravings of Amoris divini et humani antipathia, and a good many of the Latin texts were taken over as well. Here, as in Vaenius, divine love (Amor divinus) in most cases takes the place of Cupid. The Amoris divini et humani antipathia in addition shows influences of Heinsius and of the Pia desideria by H. Hugo (1558-1629). This Jesuit-produced volume is therefore serve a prime example of love emblematics as a melting-pot genre. In the northern part of the Netherlands this tradition was enhanced by for instance J. Luyken (1649-1712), J. van Hoogstraten (1662-1736) en J. Suderman (1680-after 1724).
Based on the criteria mentioned above, and on the insights in the history of the Dutch love emblem, the following emblem books were for our project (here we give their short titles, see for more details the editorial introductions to each of these emblem books on this site):

Copies Used

In general, we have chosen to digitize the first editions of all emblem books in our corpus, with a few exceptions to this rule. Luyken's Jezus en de ziel was first issued in 1678, but we have digitized the enlarged (third) edition of this title. Also, Heinsius's Ambacht van Cupido, first published in 1613, is reproduced on this site as it was published as part of the 1616-edition of Heinsius's Nederduitsche poemata. And while digitizing Vaenius's Q. Horatii Flacci Emblemata, we have not used the 1607-edition, but the enlarged edition of this title dating from 1612.
We have make (very) limited comparisons between extant copies of the emblem books in our corpus, using whatever information we could find in secondary literature to locate a suitable copy but also working with the circumstance that not every copy selected on the grounds of our bibliographical investigations could be used due to problems such as narrow bindings or the lack of scanning equipment in certain libraries. We have mostly resided in using copies kept in the libraries of the University of Utrecht and Amsterdam, and the Royal Library in The Hague. In the editorial introductions to all of our editions you will find specific information on the copies used, the defects shown in this copies and the measures taken to solve problems emerging from missing plates and leaves, and from water stained pages.

Transcriptions and Editorial Additions

On this site, you will find that most editorial information is given in English. Nevertheless, you will encounter some texts in Dutch (particularly in the Heinsius, Hooft and Cats editions). Most Latin texts are translated into modern English.
The digital editions of Hooft's Emblemata amatoria, Cats's Sinne- en minnebeelden and Luyken's Duytse lier on this site are based on existing (paper) editions by Karel Porteman, Hans Luijten and Arie Jan Gelderblom a.o. The URL's used on this site are not referring to the page numbers in these paper editions, and we have not preserved the specific order in which the emblems and editorial addings are presented in these paper editions. Also, we have added our own editiorial comments (parallels and references to literature, mostly).
Our transcriptions are kept as close to the original texts as possible. Normalization of spacing and interpunction have not been carried out. Some characteristics of the original lay-out and typography do not show in our transcriptions, but can always be checked using the scans of the original pages (on this site titled: 'facsimiles'). Please note that not all pages of the original books have been reproduced: the book's covers as well as blank pages at the beginning and ending of the actually texts do not show. In the lists of mottoes we have replaced 'v' with 'u' to make them more accessible to the reader.

Use of the Bibliography

The Emblem Project Utrecht Bibliography aims to refer to literature relevant to the Dutch love emblem. It points to all literature which we refer to in our editions. Publications on non-traditional media, such as CD-ROM's and websites, are included and direct links are added wherever possible.
Inclusion of an item in the bibliography does not mean we have studied or even seen the item. The item may be there just to document the article's or book's existence.
Besides the bibliographical information necessary to describe a publication, we strive to add a short description of the publication's contents. We hope that, in time, this will make the bibliography useful in guiding scholars to relevant literature.
Items in the bibliography have been hyperlinked wherever this seemed useful. Personal names generally point to a list of items in the bibliography which refer to that person. Mentioned titles are often hyperlinked to the description of the title they mention. Reverse links (to the items where a particular item is being discussed) are given at the bottom of each relevant item description.
Of course, from the edition, we point to items in the bibliography wherever we need to refer to a book or website. Besides that, two main views are available for those who want to search the bibliography for a specific item.
Selecting the author/editor view will present you with a list of all persons mentioned in the bibliography. This includes, of course, the authors and editors of the items in the bibliography, but also those who are mentioned in the short descriptions which we have added to some items.
The view by title/author/year will present you with the same information as the previous view, now sorted by title.
Within each of these views, you may use your browser's search facility (generally accessed using either control-F or the 'Edit' menu option) to search for names, words or titles within the present page.

Search Options

The editions on this site may be searched through a variety of means. The global search page allows selection by pictorial motifs/elements and other indexes. The tables of contents allow selection by motto, concordances allow selection by individual words, and the bibliography cross-references all places in the EPU editions which refer to a given bibliographical item.
Ideally, the viewer should be able to select, or rather build, a personal format. A format consists of a set of decisions about the basic organizational principle of the HTML pages (either a single page with all of the selected information from all of the selected emblems, or one page per emblem) the generic emblem components to be displayed (a selection by motto/pictura/subscriptio, by language, by prose/verse) book-specific criteria about the emblem components to be displayed (e.g., in the case of Cats: the amorous, social or religious sections) editorial additions to be displayed (modernizations, annotation, translation by language, comment, interpretational encodings) Each user might be assigned a default format which shows the emblem information as the present site does, i.e., show one emblem per page, and show all of the emblem components. However, the user should be able to change this default format and create one or more personal formats, assigning them names for easy reference. If he chooses to create several personal formats, one of those formats may be declared to be his personal default. A user might for instance prefer to see just mottoes, English-language subscriptios and translations and build a (default) personal format which includes just these, on a per-emblem page. The same user might have a special interest in mottoes and could therefore create a secondary format which lists all mottoes and puts them on a single page.
The result of searching is a set of hits. A hit defines a location in an emblem, and thus an emblem. A search result is thus a set of emblems. But there are other sets of emblems. Each emblem book naturally defines a set of emblems: the set of emblems taken from that book. In fact, the pages shown to a visitor may be viewed as the result of applying a format, as discussed above, to a set of emblems. Which suggests emblem sets, too, may be objects worth storing away for later use. One day we hope to add this option to our site.

Technical Guidelines

Available now:

EPU Files

For those of you interested in the technical details of what we are doing, here is a list of the XML files and the document definitions. You may use these files either to study the techniques we are using or to study the emblems books themselves. You may not, of course, use the files to build your own edition of the emblem books. These files can be saved on to our own computer by using the right mouse click, then choosing the option 'Save As'. The Cocoon-stylesheets will be added shortly.
XML files:
DTD files: