Emblem from Joachim Camerarius the Younger (1534-1598) “Centuria Exquisitissimorum Symbolorum Et Emblematum Historiarum Sacro-Prophanarum Moralium & Politicarum Cultoribus perquam utilis & necessaria”. The publication features the descriptions and the illustrations of sacred and secular emblems.
The emblem in the present print refers to the 3-parted nature of many things in nature, in the spiritual and real worlds alike. For example, three are the hierarchies of the angels; God Himself is divided in three (Father, Son and the Holy Ghost) and in three parts is divided man: a spiritual part, a physical part and a third which is a combination of the two.
In alchemy, this three-partition is exemplified by Mercury, Sulphur and Salt which were believed to be the three substances of which men were composed.
Remarkably, the picture shows the process of cheese making in three episodes, the milking of the cow in the background, the pouring of the fresh milk into three bowls and the “beating” of the milk to make the very first cheese, then represented on the table on the right.
This plate comes from an early edition as it features an inscription in a round-shaped frame, reading: “OMNIA MERCURIO, SULPHURE, ET SALE” which does not appear in the 1680 Nuerenberg edition. A pencil note on the mount reads: “Bologna 1560”, however at the present it has been impossible to find an edition from that city and date.
On the top left corner of the mount a collector’s mark of the family Fugger-Glött [L.2690]. A further pencil note on the bottom left suggests another provenance, though it is not clear which: “Aus Sammlung / […]loss Ambras (?) / (Tirol)”.
Engraving on paper, mounted on laid paper; total plate: 87 mm diameter; total: 215 x 166 mm; despite some discoloration in very good condition; handwritten annotations in pencil on the mount.
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