684J Paradin Claude, Claude. (1510-1573)
Les Devises héroïques, de M. Claude Paradi, chanoine de Beaujeu, du seigneur Gabriel Symeon et autres aucteurs.
Anvers : De l’imprimerie de C. Plantini, 1567. $4,000
Duodecimo in 8’s, 12.5 x 8 cm. Third edition A-V8 This edition has 217 woodcuts Each
woodcut is accompanied by a motto, followed by an explanation. Bound coeval limp laced case parchment. a clean copy in original condition.
The Devises Heroïques published in French in Lyons in 1551 by Jean de
Tournes. Under the title Dévises héroïques. Les dévises ov emblèmes héroïques
et morales, by Simeoni, originally published separately in 1559, was first added to
the work of Paradin in 1561. This was an influential printed collection of 118
emblems or “devises” and included an attached motto. These emblemata
became commonly used as markers or models of royal, aristocratic or moral
ownership as well as decorative pattern books applied in a variety of crafts
including, heraldry, masonry, sculpture, painting, woodcuts or textiles. “The first
Protestant collection of religious devices, a book which played a very important
role in the European emblem tradition”
The 1551 edition was followed in 1557 by an expanded edition, now with 182
“devises” as well as providing a brief explanation of the universal significance of
the symbol and how it represents the individual who chose it or to whom the
symbol was attributed in the Renaissance as well as the motto. The new wood
blocks for the 1557 edition may be by Bernard Salomon who worked closely with
Jean de Tournes.
The publication of Paradin’s Devises Heroïques was taken over by Christophe
Plantin in Antwerp from 1561, with the addition of 37 “devises” and the inclusion
of a Latin translation of the combined text order to provide for a wider reading
public. Plantain’s wood cuts still survive in the Plantin Moretus Museum in
Antwerp. It was published in a Dutch Translation in Antwerp in 1563 and in an
English translation in London in 1591 and in further French revisions in Paris in
the 17th century and a commentary by Adrien d’Amboise.
This book was a source for Shakespeare. He quotes, in ‘Pericles’, at least
one of these emblems : “Me pompae provexit apex”.
Mary Queen of Scots who was held at Tutbury Castle and Bess of Hardwick (then Elizabeth Shrewsbury, the wife ofMary’s custodian George Shrewsbury) knew and used Paradin’s emblems in thedesign of embroidered hangings. The emblem Ingenii Largitor (“Bestower of Wit”)from Paradin’s Devises Heroïques is the basis for the centrepiece of theShrewsbury hanging (circa 1569) on loan to Oxburgh Hall as part of the OxburghHangings. The design shows a raven drinking from a large cup and the initials ESand GS for Elizabeth and George Shrewsbury. The emblem illustrates the fable, found in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder, of the thirsty bird, who, unable to
reach water, filled a bowl with pebbles to raise the water level until he could drink.
Landwehr Romantic Nº 569; VOET, The Plantin Press, N° 1953.” Réimpression de l’édition donnée par Plantin en 1561, & illustrée des mêmes 216 bois gravés. Adams/Rawles/Saunders French emblem books F-461
Mortimer, Harvard cat. 410. Praz, M. Studies in 17th-century imagery,; p. 444-445; Volkmann; page 53 ; Kraus cat Nº66 n.479;