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Emblem Books - Overview

Throughout the 16th & 17th centuries, Emblem Books were a popular means of education. Printed in numerous languages by a variety of authors, Emblem Books were read by students of most social standings. The topic of an Emblem Book varied. Our focus is those volumes relaying a moral subject matter where text consists of ideas; perhaps poetry or proverbs.

The original format of the book, established by Andreas Alciato, is such that pages include imagery on the left facing page, accompanied by related text below the image and on the right facing page. Some volumes include images that are quite elaborate, while others maintain a simpler presentation.


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Last modified on December 10, 2010.