Promptuarium Iconum Insigniorum

Promptuarium Iconum Insigniorum (the full title of which is Prima pars Promptuarii iconum insigniorum à seculo hominum, subiectis eorum vitis, per compendium ex probatissimis autoribus desumptis. pronunciation ; transl. 'The first part of the storehouse of images of the more notable men from the beginning of time, with their biographies subjoined, taken in abbreviated form from the most approved authors.') is an iconographic collection of wood engravings authored and published by French humanist, numismatist,[3] and bookseller-printer Guillaume Rouillé, in three languages in 1553, in Lyon, France.[3]

Prima pars Promptuarii iconum insigniorum à seculo hominum, subiectis eorum vitis, per compendium ex probatissimis autoribus desumptis.
Promptuarii.jpg
Title page of the first Latin edition, bearing Rouillé's emblem—an eagle atop a globe flanked by serpents, symbolizing worldly triumph[1]—and motto "In Virtute Et Fortuna" (lit.'In valor and good fortune')[1]
EditorGuillaume Rouillé
AuthorGuillaume Rouillé
Georges Reverdy[2] (portraits)
CountryFrance
Language
  • Latin
  • French
  • Italian (1553)
Spanish (1561)
Subject
PublisherGuillaume Rouillé
Publication date
1553
Media typePrint
Pages
  • 172 (part I)
  • 247 (part II)
OCLC716696497
TextPrima pars Promptuarii iconum insigniorum à seculo hominum, subiectis eorum vitis, per compendium ex probatissimis autoribus desumptis. at Google Books

The book contains 828[4][5] portraits of mythical, historical, and quasi-historical figures, designed as medals and accompanied by brief biographies, in chronological order beginning with portraits of Adam and Eve.[6] The contents are divided into two parts—before and after the birth of Christ—but usually bound into one book.[4] The book does not mention the engraver's name; the portraits are typically attributed, however, to Piedmontese engraver Georges Reverdy [fr; it].[2] Julian Sharman, the 19th-century author of The Library of Mary Queen of Scots, noted that this work had been "pronounced to be one of the marvels of early wood-engraving."[7]

Iconographic basisEdit

In his preface, Rouillé humorously states that, in order not to be accused for having spread forgeries or counterfeit money to the public, he included fictitious images of individuals who were supposed to have lived before the biblical account of the Flood or the invention of the art of painting and engraving.[8] He admits that these portraits were drawn with the help of imagination, yet in accordance with the characteristics of the individual's deeds, customs, personality, and the region they were said to be from;[8] likewise for the images of historical figures whose attested iconographic traces did not exist. As for the rest, the portraits were based on paintings[2] and numismatic, sigillographic, or intaglio collections Rouillé and the engraver had access to.[9]

The book does not disclose the portrait engraver's identity; however, 19th-century Lyonese bibliographer Henri-Louis Baudrier [ja] attributed the portraits to Georges Reverdy from Piedmont, whose engraving skills he praised.[2] Either Reverdy modeled some of the engravings after drawings and paintings of Dutch painter Corneille de Lyon (also known as Corneille de La Haye),[2] or Reverdy and Corneille worked jointly, for the artistic style in some of the portraits very closely matches Corneille's.[10]

ContentsEdit

The work is chronologically divided into two parts based on the birth of Christ, which Rouillé placed in the 3,962th year after the biblical account of the creation of the world.[11] The individuals who lived before Christ are grouped together in the first part, and each major event of their lives is given two dates: one in anno Mundi (lit.'the year of the world') and the other ante Christum natum (lit.'before Christ was born').[12] Those born after Christ are listed in the second part, which is titled Promptuarii iconum pars secunda incipit à Christo nato, perpetuam ducens seriem ad usque Christianissimũ Francorum regem Henricum hoc nomine secundum, hodie feliciter regnantem (transl. The second part of the storehouse of images begins with the birth of Christ, leading a continuous series to the most Christian king of France, Henry II, who reigns happily to this day) in the initial Latin edition, which is dedicated to the French monarch.[13] The two parts, nevertheless, are usually bound into one book.[4]

 
Portrait of Noah, the last of the pre-Flood patriarchs in the traditions of Abrahamic religions

The first part begins with Adam and Eve,[6][12] followed by the patriarchs, prophets, and kings of the Old Testament, such as Abraham, Noah, Jeremiah, Nimrod, and Ahab; pagan deities and heroes like Vesta, Janus, Osiris, Romulus, and Hercules; and renowned historical figures who came before Christ did, such as Zoroaster, Solon, and Pericles.[12]

The second part opens with a title page depicting the Nativity and deals with the biographies of individuals from the Roman Empire, Middle Ages, and Rouillé's contemporary era: Christ himself, Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, Caligula and most of the other Roman emperors, Attila of the Huns, Islamic prophet Muhammad, Charlemagne and the German emperors up to Charles V.[12] Also included are ancient and post-classical writers and philosophers like Thales of Miletus and Dante Alighieri, and a large number of contemporary royals, such as Edward VI of England, Marguerite de Navarre, and Catherine de' Medici.[12]

Publication historyEdit

 
Henry II of France, to whom Rouillé dedicated the first Latin edition in 1553. The first Italian edition was dedicated to his wife, Catherine de' Medici.[13]

The book was published in Lyon, France, in 1553, in three editions simultaneously: Latin, French, and Italian.[3] Rouillé dedicated the Latin edition to Henry II of France, the Italian edition to Catherine de' Medici, and the French edition to Marguerite de Navarre.[13] Several subsequent editions in these languages were published in the following years.[3]

The Spanish translation, Promptuario de las medallas de todos las más insignes varones que ha habido desde el principio del mundo, was a work of Valencian theologian and translator Joan Martí Cordero [ca].[14] His dedication of the work, dated September 8, 1558, and written from the Université catholique de Louvain where he was a student at the time, was addressed "... al muy alto y muy poderoso señor don Carlos, por la gracia de Dios, Príncipe de las Españas" (transl. "... to the very high and very powerful lord Don Carlos, by the grace of God, Prince of Spain"), referring to Prince Carlos of Asturias, who was the eldest son and heir apparent of King Philip II of Spain.[14] The Spanish edition was published in 1561.[3]

ReceptionEdit

The work was a bestseller in its era.[15] Many of the similar iconographic collections published in Europe from the mid-16th to 17th centuries referenced and copied from it, partly because Rouillé had used a variety of diverse sources and chosen individuals based on more daring criteria than what was generally accepted at the time.[16]

Julian Sharman, the 19th-century author of The Library of Mary Queen of Scots, judged the work to be "not one of much numismatic interest", but noted that it had been "pronounced to be one of the marvels of early wood-engraving."[7] Art historian Ilaria Andreoli commented: "Beyond any scruples of historical, archaeological and antiquarian exactitude and precision, Rouillé's ambition is (...) to speak to the eyes (...) thanks to which the reader will be able to peer into the features and hear them speak, as if they were actors' masks".[17]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Davis, Natalie Zemon (1966). "Publisher Guillaume Rouillé, Businessman and Humanist". In Schoeck, Richard J. (ed.). Editing Sixteenth-Century Texts: Papers Given at the Editorial Conference, University of Toronto October 1965. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. pp. 93–95. ISBN 9781487582128. Retrieved December 28, 2022 – via Academia.edu.
  2. ^ a b c d e Baudrier, Henri-Louis; Baudrier, Julien (1912). Bibliographie lyonnaise: recherches sur les imprimeurs, libraires, relieurs et fondeurs de lettres de Lyon au XVIe siècle par le Président Baudrier, publiées et continuées par J. Baudrier [Bibliography of Lyon: Research on the printers, booksellers, bookbinders, and founders of letters in Lyon in the 16th century by President Baudrier, published and continued by J. Baudrier] (in French). Vol. 9. p. 207. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kluczek, Agata A. (2018). "Klodia Metelli w rzymskiej tradycji literackiej i nowożytnej tradycji numizmatycznej, czyli uwagi na kanwie książki Agnieszki Dziuby Klodia Metelli. Literacki portret patrycjuszki, Wydawnictwo KUL, Lublin 2016, ss. 320" [Clodia Metelli in the Roman Literary Tradition and Modern Numismatic Tradition, i.e. Remarks Based on Agnieszka Dziuba's Book "Klodia Metelli. Literacki portret patrycjuszki", KUL Publishing House, Lublin 2016, pp. 320]. Res Historica (in Polish). Lublin: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. 45: 365. doi:10.17951/rh.2018.45.359-371. ISSN 2082-6060. S2CID 240165655.
  4. ^ a b c Andreoli, Ilaria (2006). "La storia 'in soldoni': il Promptuaire des medalles di Guillaume Rouillé (History 'in a nutshell': Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuaire des medalles)". In Rozzo, Ugo; Gabriele, Mino (eds.). Storia per parole e per immagini [History in words and pictures] (in Italian). Udine: Forum. p. 237. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Academia.edu.
  5. ^ Kluczek, Agata A. (2018). "Klodia Metelli w rzymskiej tradycji literackiej i nowożytnej tradycji numizmatycznej, czyli uwagi na kanwie książki Agnieszki Dziuby Klodia Metelli. Literacki portret patrycjuszki, Wydawnictwo KUL, Lublin 2016, ss. 320" [Clodia Metelli in the Roman Literary Tradition and Modern Numismatic Tradition, i.e. Remarks Based on Agnieszka Dziuba’s Book ”Klodia Metelli. Literacki portret patrycjuszki”, KUL Publishing House, Lublin 2016, pp. 320]. Res Historica (in Polish). Lublin: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. 45: 366. doi:10.17951/rh.2018.45.359-371. ISSN 2082-6060. S2CID 240165655.
  6. ^ a b Rouillé, Guillaume (1553). Prima pars Promptuarii iconum insigniorum à seculo hominum, subiectis eorum vitis, per compendium ex probatissimis autoribus desumptis [The first part of the handbook of the most notable icons of the age of men, with the addition of their biographies, chosen from a compendium of the most approved authors.] (in Latin). Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé. p. 5. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b Sharman, Julian (1889). The Library of Mary Queen of Scots, with an historical introduction and a rare portrait of the queen. London: Elliot Stock. p. 152-153. OCLC 4700578. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via HathiTrust Digital Library.
  8. ^ a b Rouillé, Guillaume (1553). "Gulielmus Rovillius lectori". Prima pars Promptuarii iconum insigniorum à seculo hominum, subiectis eorum vitis, per compendium ex probatissimis autoribus desumptis [The first part of the handbook of the most notable icons of the age of men, with the addition of their biographies, chosen from a compendium of the most approved authors.] (in Latin and Ancient Greek). Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Google Books. Cæterùm ne quis lege Cornelia nos falsi arguat, quod commentitias, seu factitias quasdam figuras velut adulterina numismata in publicum sparserimus: concedatur confessioni venia: εις το γαρ αδυνατον ουτις αναρτωται. Priscorum enim hominum qui ante diluvium, & ante inventas pingendi, & scalpendi artes vixisse memorantur. Ut Adæ, Abrahæ, & Patriarcharum εικωνας non negamus à nobis fuisse per imaginationem effictas: & cum nullum haberemus Prototypum ex descripta eorum Natura, moribus, ætate, regione & rebus gestis φανταστικως fuisse conformatas. [However, lest anyone accuse us of falsification according to the Lex Cornelia—that we have scattered false or invented images like counterfeit coins among the public: let pardon be granted to our confession (for no one is bound to do the impossible). For in the case of the men of ancient times who are said to have lived before the Flood and before the invention of the arts of painting and carving, for example Adam, Abraham, and the Patriarchs, their images we do not deny have been created by us imaginatively: and since we had no model, the images have been shaped from the description of their nature, from their manners, age, region, and deeds, by imagination.]
  9. ^ Andreoli, Ilaria (2006). "La storia 'in soldoni': il Promptuaire des medalles di Guillaume Rouillé (History 'in a nutshell': Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuaire des medalles)". In Rozzo, Ugo; Gabriele, Mino (eds.). Storia per parole e per immagini [History in words and pictures] (in Italian). Udine: Forum. p. 259. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Academia.edu.
  10. ^ Dubois de Groër, Anne (1996). Corneille de La Haye, dit Corneille de Lyon (1500/1510–1575) [Corneille de La Haye, known as Corneille de Lyon (1500/1510–1575)] (in French). Paris: Arthena. p. 47. ISBN 2-903239-21-5. Retrieved December 31, 2022 – via Google Books. Par contre, les bois du Promptuaire des médailles, (...) soulèvent une question: comment expliquer que quatre d'entre eux soient indiscutablement exécutés d'après des tableaux de Corneille? On en a conclu que le graveur, Georges Reverdy à qui Lacroix du Maine attribue les gravures du Promptuaire n'en était pas l'unique auteur mais que Corneille en avait exécuté un certain nombre.
  11. ^ Rouillé, Guillaume (1581). SECONDA PARTE DEL PRONTVARIO DELLE MEDAGLIE, LA QVALE comincia dà la natiuità del nostro Saluatore GIESV CHRISTO, & continoua insino al Christianissimo Rè di Francia & di Pologna, HENRICO III. di nome, il quale al presente regna felicemente [The second part of the Handbook of Medals begins with the birth of Christ, leading a continuous series to the most Christian king of France and Poland, Henry III, who reigns happily to this day.] (in Italian). Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé. p. 3. Retrieved December 31, 2022 – via Digital Libraries Connected.
  12. ^ a b c d e Andreoli, Ilaria (2006). "La storia 'in soldoni': il Promptuaire des medalles di Guillaume Rouillé (History 'in a nutshell': Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuaire des medalles)". In Rozzo, Ugo; Gabriele, Mino (eds.). Storia per parole e per immagini [History in words and pictures] (in Italian). Udine: Forum. p. 238. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Academia.edu.
  13. ^ a b c Andreoli, Ilaria (2006). "La storia 'in soldoni': il Promptuaire des medalles di Guillaume Rouillé (History 'in a nutshell': Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuaire des medalles)". In Rozzo, Ugo; Gabriele, Mino (eds.). Storia per parole e per immagini [History in words and pictures] (in Italian). Udine: Forum. p. 236. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Academia.edu.
  14. ^ a b Lluís Martos, Josep (January–June 2015). "Juan Martín Cordero en Flandes: Humanismo, mecenazgo e imprenta" [Juan Martín Cordero in Flanders: Humanism, patronage and printing]. Revista de Filología Española (in Spanish). Madrid: Spanish National Research Council. 95 (1): 87. doi:10.3989/rfe.2015.04. ISSN 0210-9174.
  15. ^ Andreoli, Ilaria (2006). "La storia 'in soldoni': il Promptuaire des medalles di Guillaume Rouillé (History 'in a nutshell': Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuaire des medalles)". In Rozzo, Ugo; Gabriele, Mino (eds.). Storia per parole e per immagini [History in words and pictures] (in Italian). Udine: Forum. p. 235. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Academia.edu. Rouillé, uomo di mondo e dagli svariati contatti internazionali, (...) si lanciò in prima persona nel circo letterario, confezionando quello che divenne un vero e proprio best seller dell'epoca: il Promptuaire des medailles.
  16. ^ Andreoli, Ilaria (2006). "La storia 'in soldoni': il Promptuaire des medalles di Guillaume Rouillé (History 'in a nutshell': Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuaire des medalles)". In Rozzo, Ugo; Gabriele, Mino (eds.). Storia per parole e per immagini [History in words and pictures] (in Italian). Udine: Forum. p. 263-264. Retrieved January 1, 2023 – via Academia.edu.
  17. ^ Andreoli, Ilaria (2006). "La storia 'in soldoni': il Promptuaire des medalles di Guillaume Rouillé (History 'in a nutshell': Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuaire des medalles)". In Rozzo, Ugo; Gabriele, Mino (eds.). Storia per parole e per immagini [History in words and pictures] (in Italian). Udine: Forum. p. 264. Retrieved January 1, 2023 – via Academia.edu. Al di là di ogni scrupolo di esattezza e precisione storica, archeologica ed antiquaria, l'ambizione di Rouillé è (...) di parlare agl'occhi (...) grazie ai quali il lettore potrà scrutare i tratti e sentir parlare, come se fossero maschere d'attori,

External linksEdit