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Frederick Carter Emblemes Clifford Hall
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'Emblemes' and 'Hieroglyphikes
of the life of Man'


[Emblemes]     [Hieroglyphikes of the life of Man]


Heiro.jpg (75173 bytes)This remarkable selection of engravings was published for poet and royalist, Francis Quarles (1592- 1644), only two or so decades after the death of Shakespeare. 'Emhlemes', published in 1635, proved phenomenally successful and ran into several editions. The plates were largely the work of William Marshall with some by W.Simpson , Robert Vaughan and I.Payne. The originality of the drawings is evident in their startling and sometimes surreal images. The last three books were borrowed , with the plates reversed , from the Jesuit Hermann Hugo's 1 Pia Desideris Emblematis, Elegiis et Affectibus."

The collection as a whole displays a wide range of iconography which reflects Quarles' pressing metaphysical and religious ideas. He quickly followed up his success with the similar 'Hicroglyphikes of the Life of Man' ( 1638 ), illustrated by Marshall and dedicated to his patroness , the Countess of Dorset who shared Quarles' religious ideas.

The Bosch-like relentlessness of many of the images accurately promoted Quarles' view that man's earthly existence is a wretched business. There is a Shakespearean breadth of engagement with these themes and the strongest sense of how religious ideas could be construed through secular life.

In his dedication of 'Emblemes' to his great friend, Edward Benlowes, Quarles wrote colourfully about his intentions:

Let Dorrs delight to immerd themselves in dung, whilst Eagles scorn so poor a Game as Flies.  Sir, you have Art and Candour; let the one judge, let the other excuse.

These unique works of art are offered in their original state in this exclusive offer.  Each print is individually priced.  Plate size, for each print, is approximately 10 x 6.5cm.

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