Friday, May 6, 2011

Ovid in Emblems

A page of printed verse surrounded by an elaborate border and a woodcut illustration showing the creation of the world.This curious edition printed in Lyon in 1564 reduces Ovid's Metamorphoses to a series of exquisitely executed woodcuts. The images, accompanied by only short snippets of text, become emblems for the myths they represent. Ovid was so prevalent in the culture that the publisher could count on his audience knowing the stories, so he could use the Metamorphoses as a vehicle for Bernard Saloman illustrations.

Our copy is bound in limp vellum and lies open in the palm of your hand, feeling almost weightless. We often argue that working with rare books can lead a student to ask questions he or she may never have thought to ask. The tactile and visual experience of this book evokes an ill-defined sense of the past. It sends you back in time and begs you to imagine the original owner holding it in 16th-century France.

A photograph of a limp vellum binding - plain and somewhat warped in appearance.
Come experience it yourself by asking for Rare PA6523.M2T6 1564.

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