Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2006
Book ID: 14
96 pages + preface, introduction, and bibliography | 11.75 x 7.5 inches | 81 color and b/w images
Emblemata Sacra: Emblem Books from the Maurits Sabbe Library, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is the catalogue of an exhibition mounted at the Francis A. Drexel Library at Saint Joseph's University in spring 2006. This exhibit took place in conjunction with the celebration of the Society of Jesus's commemoration in 2006 of three major anniversaries: the 450th anniversary of the death of its founder, St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), as well as the 500th anniversary of the birth of Ignatius's first two companions, St. Francis Xavier (1506-52) and Bl. Peter Faber (1506-46).
The "Emblemata Sacra" exhibit featured nearly seventy emblem books from the world's premier theological library's rich collection of preciosa and Jesuitica. The exhibit was divided into thirteen thematic sections, each of which in the catalogue is explained by text prepared by a specialist in emblem studies and illustrated by full color, high-density images of each of the emblem books exhibited. The volume also includes a bibliography.
Joseph F. Chorpenning, OSFS, contrib. ed.
"This book is a stunning record of an important exhibition held in the Francis A. Drexel Library of Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, in March-May 2006. […] The meat of this book is by Ralph Dekoninck, Agnès Guiderdoni-Bruslé, and Marc van Vaeck: a high-powered team if ever there was one, and that responsible for the original conference and exhibition on which this is based, held in Leuven in January 2005. […] this book is a remarkable illustration of the Catholic exploitation of emblems, and sits helpfully and impressively alongside the massive, more traditionally academic works of its authors."
Stephen Rawles, Society for Emblem Studies Newsletter
"This volume could be described as an exhibition catalogue, but to do so would seriously undersell a scholarly study of the early modern use of printed images within Catholic spirituality, and in particular of their exploitation by the Society of Jesus for both meditational and devotional but also for pedagogic purposes. […] The work is lavishly illustrated and includes a solid bibliography. […] a scholarly work which should be of interest to all those interested in Early-Modern Catholic spirituality."
Alison Saunders, Catholic Historical Review
"The display of rare books and manuscripts has always attracted the attention and curiosity of the public, especially when it is accompanied by a competently written and superbly illustrated catalogue. This is the case for the exhibit of a collection of some seventy religious emblem books from the Maurits Sabbe Library of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, at the Drexel Library of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. […] The most striking part of Emblemata Sacra […] is the illustrations. The color photographs capture the clarity of the black and white engravings to reveal paper texture, ink bleed-through, foxing, and other subtle characteristics in the original imprints. […] This attractive exhibition catalogue is a serious introduction to the study of Catholic emblem books and an opportunity to get as close to the real emblems as one can from a photographic reproduction."
Pedro F. Campa, Sixteenth Century Journal
"This beautifully illustrated volume is a catalogue of an exhibition held at the Francis A. Drexel Library at Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, in the spring and early summer of 2006. […] A real virtue of Emblemata Sacra is the respect its publishers afford to the illustrations. This commendable care is sustained in another book by the same press, Adrien Gambart's Emblem Book […] In addition to Gambart's text, given in paraphrased translation, the book includes a full colour facsimile of the original printed book and two introductory essays. […] Gambart's attractive […] emblem book receives lavish treatment in this edition; the facsimile is printed in colour on laid paper, offering the reader a sense of the original in feel and appearance. In this alone, the book sets new standards in the reproduction of early emblem books."
Simon McKeown, Print Quarterly
"Saint Joseph's University Press is to be congratulated on producing such a splendid catalogue, as rich in illustration as it is in information for the general reader."
Peter M. Daly, Renaissance and Reformation