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Publisher: MERIAN, M.
Title: [Title page] Theatri Europaei, oder historischer chronicken Beschreibung . . .
Published in: Frankfurt, ca. 1639
Size: 11.6 x 7.2 inches.
29.5 x 18.3 cm.

Condition: Dark impression. Paper slightly age-toned. Right margin cut close and frayed.
Condition Rating

Title page, lavishly decorated with in the middle Fama who blows trumpets on a fortress tower, with another trumpet held in the other hand. Fama can proclaim war glory, but also deliver messages and rumours as a messenger (Henkel / Schne, Sp. 1317, 1536f., 1666f.). In the upper left corner of the clouds, Mars appears in armour with helmet, sword and shield, on the right Bellona also in War habit with helmet, lance and shield. The two allegories embody two facets of warfare, fury and martial arts.

On the left side of the tower, gun barrels sticking out of its loopholes, a naked, crowned female figure, surrounded by a halo of light, floats on the middle plane. Through the floating and the light she appears in a religious context. The personification of the "Nuda Veritas" (Naked true), as the explanatory words at her feet, has in his right hand an open book with the inscription "Historia vitae", possibly supplemented by "magistra". In her left hand she holds a sceptre, like the crown signum of dominion.
This Veritas figure represents the claim of the historian to rule in agreement with God's will as a magistra vitae and thus to be useful in life-practical terms.

On the right side of the turret stands a clothed female figure on earth, conspicuously ornamented by jewellery and fashionable garb. In the right she holds a frond, in the left a mirror. With the two accessories may be alluded to the vanity of the "Licentia".
At her feet is the interpretation: "Compta affectuum Licentia". It is thus Licentia, goddess of license, arbitrariness and frivolity, and the manageable lawlessness of affects. The motto can be related to the "Nuda Veritas": The unveiled truth and its reproduction should be achieved by the taming of the passions.

The allegory of truth finds its reference scene on the lower picture. Beneath a panel with title and publisher's name, a historiographer working at a desk is shown in the foreground, indicated by the inscription "Historiographia" appearing on a cloth above him.
The historian, decorated with a laurel wreath, has an open book lying on the table top. In his right hand he holds a quill pen, his left hand rests on a book page. On the desk stands an inkwell, sheets, sealed sheets, letters, envelopes and a paper roll scattered around. Coming from the right, a male figure brings a new sealed document, probably a report or a message, which highlights the timeliness of the news to be processed.
The historiographer has apparently just described a page of the book and now looks thoughtfully reflective of the delivered document of the messenger, who is just about to step in, to lift his hat off his head.

To the left and right of the historian, two more Veritas personifications can be seen at the edges of the picture. From the lower left approaching - from a dark cave to the light rising - a naked female figure approaches the historiographer. Once bound, she still wears the rest of a clamp on her left lower leg. Her forearms are tied by a chain. At the height of the figure of a woman, who turned her gaze away from the historiographer, the phrase "verum cm datebris delituit diu emergit" can be read - the long-hidden truth has finally come to light.

In the lower right sits a naked female figure looking at the historiographer. At her feet are the words "Simplicis Veritatis Studium". It thus personifies the effort for the simple truth.

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Lot number: 41394

MERIAN, M. - [Title page] Theatri Europaei, oder historischer chronicken Beschreibung . . .

Price :$ 100
Approx. Euro 91  

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