Sunday, August 05, 2007

Theatrum Virtutum

Theatrum virtutum titlepage

Polish 16th cent sketch album - Illecebrar Contemptus

Theatrum virtutum - Tomasz Treter

Treter - The Theatre of Virtues

Thomas Treter - Theatrum virtutum

Theater of Virtues - 1588

Poland - Theatre of Virtues

Theatrum virtutum - Poland, 1588

Jesuits in the Theatre of Virtues

Theatrum virtutum, 1588

Theatrum virtutum by Tomasz Treter

Tomasz Treter - Theatrum virtutum, 1588

Theatrum virtutum - Polish sketch album

Theatrum virtutum - Thomas Treter's sketch album

Theatrum virtutum - dedicated to Stanislaus Hosius

Theatre of Virtues - emblems and verses devoted to Stanislaus Hosius

As the titlepage above suggests, 'Theatrum Virtutum' (The Theatre of Virtues) was something of a homage to the learned and widely respected catholic bishop and papal envoy during the Counter-Reformation, Stanislaus Hosius (1504-1579).

"He did more for the preservation of the Catholic religion in Poland than all the other Polish bishops combined. He was withal, a man of prayer, mortification, and great liberality towards the poor. Both clergy and laity looked upon him as a saint."
I presume this (latin) sketch album by Tomasz Treter from ~1588 was the draft for an engraved publication under the same title that was released soon after. Most information online is in Polish, a language which is as easily understood in the original as it is in the resultant gobbledegook from online translation. I daresay I would have passed over this work if it were in the published form, but there is something elegant about the ink and wash drawings that caught my eye. All the text is very neat and there is an index laying out the location of all the virtues in the (60-odd) pictures; no doubt it was a presentation album, although the 19th century bookplates don't provide any assistance.

1 comment :

Karla said...

I agree that the ink wash is strangely appealing. I also kind of like all the floating figures even though they are doubtless all standard sorts of Catholic angelic beings.

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