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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Art of the Picturae in Sixteenth-Century French Emblem Books: Théâtre Des Bons Engins and Morosophie by Guillaume De La Perrière and Hecatongraphie by Gilles Corrozet
by Matusiewicz, Erin, Ph.D., Wayne State University, 2020, 229; 27671224
Abstract (Summary)

Alison Saunders defines the emblem as “a composite literary/artistic form in which figure and text together convey a meaningful moralizing message which could not be conveyed by one or the other form in isolation.” (2008, 455) As a literary genre, scholars have studied how the emblematic image is “designed to catch attention” (Manning, 2002), how text and image “work together in harmony as a rhetorical tool of persuasion” (Saunders, 1989), and how the combination of image and text solidifies the moral lesson to memory (Russell, 1981 and 1985; Saunders, 1986; Burin, 1988; Giordano, 1998; Black, 2013). Daniel Russell and Peter Daly have also pointed to the semiotic versatility of the emblem image as it could be combined with different text to create new meaning (Russell, 1985 and 1995; Daly, 1998). My argument is that the emblematic image did not stand alone; but rather it functioned within a larger series of systems, styles and sensibilities during the sixteenth-century. This study focuses on the woodcut imagery of Guillaume de la Perrière’s Théâtre des bons engins (1539) and Morosophie (1553) and Gilles Corrozet’s Hecatongraphie (1540). Chapter 1 outlines how the emblematic image served as part of a multinational bookmaking industry. The chapter traces the development of the emblem layout beginning with Andrea Alicato’s 1531 Emblematum liber, along with the three major schools of artistic thought present during the Golden Age of French printing (1530–1550). Chapter 2 examines the emblematic image’s role on the printed page. Here, we will review how the emblem format was customizable to each writer and how printers’ tools such as decorative borders (patterns and variations) visually enhanced emblem books. Chapter 3 reviews the figural arrangements seen in these images, which embrace the classical and mannerist artistic styles of the period. By investigating commonalities among images, compositional patterns become apparent. These patterns offer opportunities for artists to ‘show’ the complex elements of the writers’ text. Finally, Chapter 4 identifies concurrent artistic and literary genres that are reflected throughout these images. These stylistic borrowings point back to classical antiquity, which was a fascination and source of inspiration during the Renaissance.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Giordano, Michael
Commitee: Ronnick, Michele, De Benedictis, Raffaele, Goodrich, Jaime
School: Wayne State University
Department: Modern Languages
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: French literature
Keywords: Corrozet, Gilles , Emblems, France, La Perriere, Guillaume De, Renaissance
Publication Number: 27671224
ISBN: 9798641208657
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