Iconologia  

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Iconologia  (1593) by Cesare Ripa was an emblem book highly influential on Baroque imagery
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Iconologia (1593) by Cesare Ripa was an emblem book highly influential on Baroque imagery

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Full text of "Iconologia, or, Moral emblems"

The Iconologia overo Descrittione Dell’imagini Universali cavate dall’Antichità et da altri luoghi (1593) by Cesare Ripa (c. 1560 - c. 1622) is a highly influential emblem book based on Egyptian, Greek and Roman emblematical representations. The book was used by orators, artists and poets to give substance to qualities such as virtues, vices, passions, arts and sciences. The concepts were arranged in a Renaissance way, the alphabetical order. For each there was a verbal description of the allegorical figure proposed by Ripa to embody the concept, giving the type and color of its clothing and its varied symbolic paraphernalias, along with the reasons why these were chosen, reasons often supported by references to literature (largely classical).

The first edition of his Iconologia was published in in 1593 and dedicated to Anton Maria Salviati. A second edition was published in Rome in 1603 this time with 684 concepts and 151 woodcuts, dedicated to Lorenzo Salviati. The book was extremely influential in the 17th and 18th centuries and was quoted extensively in various art forms. In particular, it influenced the painter Pietro da Cortona and his followers. Also Dutch painters like Gerard de Lairesse, Willem van Mieris based work on Ripa's emblems. Vermeer used the information on the muse Clio for his The Art of Painting. A large part of Vondel's work cannot be understood without this allogorical source, and ornamentation of the Amsterdam townhall by Artus Quellinus, a sculptor, is totally dependent on Ripa.

The baroque painter Antonio Cavallucci drew from the book the inspiration for his painting Origin of Music. In 1779 the British architect Georg Richardson, published in London his Iconology; or a Collection of Emblematical Figures; containing four hundred and twenty-four remarkable subjects, moral and instructive; in which are displayed the beauty of Virtue and deformity of Vice. The drawings were by William Hamilton . In 1819 Filippo Pitrucci, a London based artist, published his version of Iconologia.

Full text (Italian)

http://archive.org/details/iconologiadelcav04ripa

Incipit di Iconologia

PROEMIO

Le Imagini fatte per significare una diversa cosa da quella, che si vede con l'occhio non hanno altra più certa né più universale regola, che l'imitazione delle memorie, che si trovano ne' Libri, nelle Medaglie e ne' Marmi intagliate per industria de' Latini & Greci, ò di quei più antichi, che furono inventori di questo arteficio. Però communemente pare, che chi si affatica fuori di questa imitatione erri, ò per ignoranza, ò per troppo presumere, le quali due macchie sono molto abhorrite da quelli, che attendono con le proprie fatiche all'acquisto di qualche lode.

Full text (English)

http://archive.org/details/iconologiaormora00ripa





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