Paradin politicized: some new sources for Scottish paintings

Bath, M. and Van Heijnsbergen, T. (2016) Paradin politicized: some new sources for Scottish paintings. Emblematica, 22, pp. 43-67.

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Abstract

Identification of the sources for two emblematic subjects used in decorative paintings of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in Scotland suggests a political context for their interpretation. At two different sites to be discussed in this article-the Skelmorlie and Aisle in Ayrshire with its decorative painting on boards, and Castle Ruthven, near Perh, where a fireplace once displayed a sententious inscription-emblems adapted from printed emblem books are shown to refer to issues of their day. Two clearly emblematic details in the Skelmorlie Aisle, showing the figures of Justice and Fortitude, have hitherto remained unsourced but can now be shown to copy prints by Jacob Matham after Hendrik Goltzius. These are represented on the painted ceiling in a way that corresponds closely to two half-panels at the opposite end of the aisle, which are known to copy Whitney's emblem "In utrumpque paratus" [Prepared for either]. The fact that this same emblem, which goes back to Paradin, was used most notably as the dedicatory frontispiece to Beza's Icones, celebrating the founders of the reformed church, suggests the political context in which this emblem was being used at this period. That context also makes sense of the Latin distich that the Earl of Gowrie painted above his fireplace in Castle Ruthven, which can now be shown to have been extracted from La Perrière's Morosophie, where it sums up the emblem "Veritas filia temporis" [Truth the daughter of time]. Well-known studies of this topos in England have established its close association with both the defense of Catholicism by Mary I and its Reformation under Elizabeth, and this suggests a political context for its use in Castle Ruthven, where in 1582 the young King James VI was taken hostage by the "Ruthven Raiders" in an attempt to reserve and control the establishment of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bath, Professor Michael and Van Heijnsbergen, Dr Theo
Authors: Bath, M., and Van Heijnsbergen, T.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Journal Name:Emblematica
Publisher:AMS Press
ISSN:0885-968X
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