Friday, July 04, 2008

Scrapbook Florilegium

Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 f


Mandragora


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 d


dragon


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 h


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 i


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 j


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 c


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 g


Tulips


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 a


Elisabeth zu Hessen, Kassel 1598 b


A couple of months ago, we saw an album of hand-coloured allegorical illustrations about a festival held on the occasion of the baptism of Princess Elizabeth of Hessen in 1596.

It turns out that there are three related works held by the Munich State Library. They are: BSB Cod.icon. 340 (we saw last time); BSB Cod.icon. 27(1 {the present botanical album} [translation] and BSB Cod.icon. 27(2 {I haven't had much of a look at this due to the present bandwidth problems, but it seems to be another allegorical festival work relating to an Essen royal parade}.

I *think* the present florilegium was painted onto pages from both of the Essen tournament works, hence making up a kind of scrapbook. The binding bears a date of 1606 and the volume is made up from pages out of the books from 1596 and 1598 by Wilhelm Dilich. The botanical artist is not known and their lush naturalistic watercolour flowers are accompanied by latin taxonomic names.

It was surely an eccentric editorial choice to paint beautiful flowers alongside such striking imagery as beheadings and dragons!

7 comments:

roberto la forgia said...

this is the most intersting blog online.
Ciao ;^)

Karla said...

"It was surely an eccentric editorial choice to paint beautiful flowers alongside such striking imagery as beheadings and dragons!"

I was hoping you'd be explaining the reason for all those beheadings... not to mention why the first one I noticed seemed to be a bearded lady.

peacay said...

I've come to regard the word allegorical as the get-out-of-jail-free card equivalent in explaining otherwise disturbing or perplexing tropes that manifest in 16th-18th century art.

Those festival books are always replete with mythological and astrological motifs. But I wasn't aware - until now - of any circus sideshow elements such as your bearded lady.

"It's allegorical and evoking circus themes, duh. Don't tell me you haven't seen a bearded lady beheaded at a festival before? It's telling you that if you are too weird, life will be full of pitfalls. So love GOD. And shave off the beard pronto."

(Thanks Roberto!)

Karla said...

I'd better rush off to the barber right away and have that beard removed. (Well, it sure looks to me as though beheading #1 features relatively opulent breasts AND even more opulently bearded head!)

Had I known that the period in question was so full of allegorical and circus themes, maybe I would have done that instead of Czech surrealism. I'd be able to answer just as many questions with an authoritative shrug.

lotusgreen said...

marvelous colors

Leah Palmer Preiss Curious Art said...

Just wanted to let you know that this blog is an endless source of fascination/inspiration to me. I have your book too & it's equally delicious.

Many, many thanks,
Leah

peacay said...

Thanks very much for the kind words.

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