PORTUGUESE EMBLEMATICS: AN OVERVIEW1

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PORTUGUESE EMBLEMATICS: AN OVERVIEW1
REVISTA LUMEN ET VIRTUS
ISSN 2177-2789
VOL. II
Nº 4
MAIO/2011
PORTUGUESE EMBLEMATICS: AN OVERVIEW1 Rubem Amaral Júnior2
RESUMO – Partindo da evidência da modesta participação de Portugal na emblemática à época
do grande desenvolvimento do gênero por toda a Europa, especialmente no tocante a livros de
emblemas, não obstante a inegável influência que obras emblemáticas estrangeiras tiveram sobre
autores lusitanos, o presente artigo tenta efetuar um levantamento dos títulos produzidos naquele
país, originais e traduzidos, tanto impressos quanto manuscritos, bem como da literatura
secundária a esse respeito, e ressalta como contribuição original e relevante portuguesa à
emblemática a aplicação de motivos emblemáticos à azulejaria, de que se procura fazer
igualmente o inventário.
PALAVRAS-CHAVE – Emblemas, emblemática, emblemática portuguesa, livros de emblemas,
azulejaria emblemática.
134 ABSTRACT – Taking as starting point the evidence of the modest participation of Portugal in
emblematic at the time of the great development of that genre throughout Europe, especially in
relation to emblem books, notwithstanding the undeniable influence exerted by foreign
emblematic works upon Portuguese authors, the present article tries to carry out a survey of the
titles produced in that country, original and in translation, both printed and manuscript, as well as
of the secondary literature regarding them, and points out as the original and relevant Portuguese
contribution to emblematics the use of emblem motifs in glazed tile panels, of which it seeks also
to draw up an inventory.
KEYWORDS – Emblems, emblematics, Portuguese emblematics, emblem books, emblematic
glazed tiles.
O presente artigo foi publicado originalmente no volume Mosaics of Meaning. Studies in Portuguese Emblematics, editado
Por Luís Gomes, Glasgow, Center for Emblem Studies, University of Glasgow, 2009, pp. 1-19 (Glasgow Emblem
Studies, Vol. 13).
2 Rubem Amaral Jr., pesquisador independente, Embaixador aposentado, é bacharel em Direito pela Universidade
Federal do Ceará, diplomado pelo Instituto Rio-Branco e pelo Curso de Altos Estudos do Ministério das Relações
Exteriores. É sócio da Society for Emblem Studies de Glasgow e da Sociedade Espanhola de Emblemática de
Cáceres (membro do Comitê Consultivo) e colaborador e membro do Comitê Científico de Imago. Revista de
Emblemática e Cultura Visual, editada pela SEE.
1
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Introduction
As is only natural, like almost every other
European country Portugal could not remain
immune
to
the
overwhelming
passion
for
emblematics that swept the continent in the roughly
two-and-a-half centuries during which this genre
flourished. The influence of the most important
emblematists (among others, that of Andrea
Alciato, Claude Paradin, Otto Vaenius, Pierio
Valeriano, Diego Saavedra Fajardo, Juan Solórzano
Pereira, and Herman Hugo) on the output of
Portuguese writers has already largely been
identified.3
Nevertheless, even a merely superficial
glance at Portuguese emblematics at the time of
135 Figura 1
Vasco Mousinho de Quevedo e Castelbranco, Dialogos
de Varia doctrina illustrados com Emblemmas
(© Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa),
MS Cod.13167)
major emblematic developments in the main
cultural centres of Europe will force us to
recognize the Portuguese shortcomings, especially
concerning the production of emblem books: comparably to what certainly happened in some
other peripheral regions, it was modest, belated, frustrated and derivative.4
3nSee Marion Ehrhardt, ‘Repercussões emblemáticas na obra de Camões’, Arquivos do Centro Cultural Português, 3
(1974), 553-576; José Adriano de Freitas Carvalho, ‘As lágrimas e as setas. Os Pia Desideria de Herman Hugo, S.J., em
Portugal’, Via Spiritus, 2 (1995), 169-201; Martim de Albuquerque, ‘Simbolismo e ideário político em Portugal no
século XVII. Notas a propósito de Fr. João dos Prazeres, o Príncipe dos Patriarcas e o Abecedário Real’, Revista da
Faculdade de Direito da Universidade de Lisboa, 42/2 (2001), 1763-1792. See also the following by Maria Helena de Teves
Costa Ureña Prieto, ‘O “Ofício de Rei” n’Os Lusíadas segundo a concepção clássica’, in Actas da IV reunião
internacional de camonistas (Ponta Delgada: Universidade dos Açores, 1984), pp. 767-805; ‘A emblemática de Alciato em
Portugal no século XVI’, in O humanismo português (1500-1600): primeiro simpósio nacional, 21 a 25 de Outubro de 1985
(Lisbon: Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, 1988), pp. 435-461; ‘Tópicos da iconologia renascentista na poesia
camoniana’, in Actas da V reunião internacional de camonistas, São Paulo, 20 a 34 de Julho de 1987 (São Paulo: A
Universidade, 1987), pp. 669-702; ‘Uma imagem emblemática de Camões’, Revista Camoniana, 2nd ser., 3 (1989), 6169; ‘A Roda da Esperança em Camões’, Revista Camoniana, 2nd ser., 9 (1994), 77-81; ‘A iconologia da Fortuna na obra
camoniana’, in Actas do 4º Congresso da Associação Internacional de Lusitanistas, Universidade de Hamburgo, 6 a 11 de Setembro
de 1995, ed. Maria Fátima Viegas Brauer-Figueiredo (Lisbon: Lidel, 1995), pp. 885-889; ‘A recepção da emblemática
de Alciato na obra de Luís de Camões’, in Paisajes emblemáticos: la construcción de la imagen simbólica en Europa y América,
eds. César Chaparro, José Julio García, José Roso and Jesús Ureña, 2 vols (Mérida: Editora Regional de Extremadura,
2008), vol. 1, pp. 281-290.
4nA comprehensive, though unpretentious approach to Portuguese emblematics, comprising all aspects of the
genre, including proto-, para- and applied emblematics, can be found in the present author’s works Emblemática
lusitana e os emblemas de Vasco Mousinho de Castelbranco (Lisbon: Centro de História da Universidade de Lisboa, 2005;
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Modest not only because of the very low number of emblem books, but also because
their quality was far from exceptional; the
editions were quite limited and aimed at a
very restricted market. Belated because
most of the few books were produced
from the second half of the seventeenth
century onwards. Frustrated since the
majority of emblematic works were either
not illustrated or remained unpublished,
and some were even lost. Lastly, it was
derivative in view of the fact that almost
all
were
imitations,
adaptations
or
translations of foreign books. That is
probably the reason why, at present,
relatively so few Portuguese scholars have
directed their attention towards this field
136 of study, as compared to those in other
nations. At any rate, its history is worth
rescuing, since it represents a relevant link
with a major common trait of the
Figura 2
João dos Prazeres, O Príncipe dos Patriarcas S. Bento. De
sua Vida, Discursada em Empresas Políticas e Predicáveis,
vol. 1, Lisbon, 1683, title (Glasgow University Library) European cultural heritage, and because, at least in the area of applied emblematics, Portugal was
able to create a very original means of expression, namely emblematic glazed tiles (azulejos). In the
following lines I will seek to demonstrate the above-mentioned characteristics.
Printed emblem books by Portuguese authors
previous versions privately printed: Tegucigalpa: 2000 and Belgrade: 2004) and Empresas heroicas e amorosas lusitanas:
letras e cimeiras das Justas Reais de Évora (1490) segundo Garcia de Resende (Tegucigalpa: privately printed, 2001). See also
Ana Martínez Pereira, ‘La emblemática tardía en Portugal: manifestaciones manuscritas’, in Paisajes emblemáticos, vol.
1, pp. 181-197.
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In spite of earlier printed descriptions of ephemeral emblems used in public pageantries,5
the first emblem collection published with this
title by a Portuguese writer, Vasco Mousinho de
Quevedo e Castelbranco, was a series of fifty
‘naked’ pieces included as a section of his book of
poems Discurso sobre a Vida, e Morte, de Santa Isabel
Rainha de Portugal, & outras varias Rimas (Lisbon:
Manoel de Lyra, 1596, reprinted in 1597).6 In a
brief opening note to the section, the author
declared his belief that the emblems constituted a
novelty
in
the
Portuguese
language
and
acknowledged his debt to Pierio Valeriano and
Claude Paradin (hence implicitly also to Gabriele
Simeoni, from a joint edition with Paradin), but
lamented the absence of pictures, for which
reason he properly foresaw their short life.7 Vasco
137 Mousinho, who died on an undetermined date
Figura 3
Leonarda Gil da Gama, Reyno de Babylonia, ganhado
pelas armas do Empyreo, Lisbon, 1749, title (Glasgow
University Library)
after 1619, left unpublished the incomplete
manuscript Dialogos de Varia doctrina illustrados
com Emblemmas (Cod. 13167 of the Lisbon
National Library; Fig. 1),* probably composed in the last years of the sixteenth century or the
beginning of the seventeenth, containing twenty-six ‘naked’ emblems—illustrados, in this context,
does not imply pictures, but rather explanations or examples—chiefly based on Virgil’s Æneid,
Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and Statius’s Thebaid, one being a translation of an emblem by Alciato; it
also contains brief references to a further twenty-nine ‘symbols’, mostly taken from Paradin,
5nE.g.,
Manoel de Campos, Relaçam do Solenne Recebimento que se fez em Lisboa as Santas Reliquias que se Leuáram á Igreja de
S. Roque da Companhia de Iesv aos 25 de Ianeiro de 1588 (Lisbon: António Ribeiro, 1588). See also a summary of the
ephemeral emblems in this book in Rubem Amaral Jr., ‘Programa emblemático do recebimento das santas relíquias
na Igreja de S. Roque, em Lisboa (1588)’, in Paisajes emblemáticos, vol. 1, pp. 317-339. There is a description of this
work in António Joaquim Anselmo, Bibliografia das obras impressas em Portugal no século XVI (Lisbon: Biblioteca
Nacional, 1926; reprinted, 1977), No. 981.
6nAnselmo, Bibliografia das obras impressas em Portugal no século XVI, No. 768.
7nBesides my book Emblemática lusitana referred to in note 2 above, see also Teresa Maria Reis Calado Tavares, ‘Os
emblemas de Vasco Mousinho Quevedo de Castelbranco’ (unpublished masters’ dissertation, Universidade de
Lisboa, Faculdade de Letras, 1988).
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Valeriano and Alciato, interspersed among the prose dialogue.8 The strong impress of Alciato can
also be observed in several other of his poetical works. Irrespective of the shortcomings of his
emblems, I think he would deserve the title of ‘father of Portuguese emblematics’.
The earliest emblem book with the tripartite form—inscriptio, pictura, subscriptio—appeared
only towards the end of the seventeenth century, in Lisbon: Friar João dos Prazeres, O Príncipe dos
Patriarcas S. Bento. De sua Vida, Discursada em Empresas Políticas e Predicáveis, whose first volume,
with thirty-six emblems, was published in 1683 by António Craesbeeck de Mello (Fig. 2), and the
second one, with thirty-four emblems and the last word of the title changed to Morais, in 1690, by
João Galrão, at the expenses of the Congregation of Saint Benedict.9
In the first decades of the following century Friar António da Expectação published, in
different years, A estrella d’alva a sublimissima,
138 e sapientíssima mestra da Santa Igreja, a Angelica Serafica Doutora, Mystica, Sta Theresa
de Jesus, May, e filha do Carmelo, matriarcha, e fundadora da sua Sagrada Reforma: suas
illustres, e heroicas obras; suas raras, e prodigiosas maravilhas, em diversos discursos, e
Sermões Panhegyricos ponderadas, in three volumes (Lisbon: Officina Real
Deslandense, 1710; Coimbra: Real Collegio das Artes da Companhia de Jesus,
1716; and Lisbon, João Galrão, 1727), of which only the first two volumes
contain the illustrations of twenty mystical emblems.10
In the middle of the same century appeared a second emblem book, Leonarda Gil da
Gama’s (pseudonym of Sister Maria Magdalena Eufémia da Glória) Reyno de Babylonia, ganhado
pelas armas do Empyreo (Lisbon: Pedro Ferreira, 1749), with sixteen emblematic copperplates by
Debrie in the style of Hugo’s Pia Desideria (Fig. 3).11
8nSee Maria Vitalina Leal de Matos, ‘Vasco Mousinho de Quevedo Castelbranco’, Arquivos do Centro Cultural Calouste
Gulbenkian, 37 (1998), 417-434; Isabel Almeida, ‘“Fina Prata”: os Dialogos de varia doutrina illustrados com emblemmas, de
Vasco Mousinho de Quevedo’, Românica, 9 (2000), 77-88.
9nJohn Landwehr, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Books of Devices and Emblems 1534-1827: A Bibliography (Utrecht:
Haentjens Dekker & Gumbert, 1976), No. 613. This bibliographer considered this to be possibly the only
Portuguese emblem book, although he records also Leonarda Gil da Gama’s Reyno de Bayilonia. See also Ilda Soares
de Abreu, Simbolismo e ideário político: a educação ideal para o príncipe ideal seiscentista em O Principe dos Patriarcas S. Bento,
pelo M. R. Padre Pregador Geral da Corte e Cronista Mor da Congregação, Frei João dos Prazeres (Lisbon: Estar, 2000), and Ana
Martínez Pereira, ‘Vidas ejemplares en emblemas (siglos XVI-XVII)’, Via Spiritus, 10 (2003), 113-138.
10nSee Fernando Moreno Cuadro, ‘Las empresas de Santa Teresa grabadas por Manuel Freyre’, Mundo da Arte, 16
(1983), 19-32.
11nMario Praz, Studies in Seventeenth-Century Imagery, 2 vols (London: The Warburg Institute, 1939, Studies of The
Warburg Institute, 3), vol. 2, p. 102; Landwehr, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Books of Devices and Emblems, No.
321. See Dídia Lourdes Paracana de Bastos Outeiro Cruz, ‘A conquista do reino dos céus segundo Madalena da
Glória ou Reyno de Babilonia, ganhado pelas armas do Empyreo; discurso moral escrito por Leonarda Gil da Gama’
(unpublished masters’ dissertation, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, FCSH, 1993).
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Printed foreign emblem books translated into Portuguese
So much as regards original printed emblem books in Portuguese. As for printed
adaptations and translations, the following should be mentioned:12
Sebastián Izquierdo, Practica dos exercicios espirituaes de S. Ignacio, translated by Father Manoel de
Coimbra (Lisbon: João Galrão, 1687); Joseph Pereira
Velozo, Desejos Piedosos de Huma Alma Saudosa do Seu
Divino Esposo Jesu Christo, with a canticle by Friar
António das Chagas accompanying each emblem
(Lisbon: Miguel Deslandes, 1688), a non-declared
adaptation of Hugo’s Pia Desideria; Julien Hayneufve,
Guia para tirar as almas do caminho espaçoso da perdiçaõ,
translation of Le grand chemin (Paris: S. et G.
Cramoisy, 1646) by Francisco de Mattos, S.J.
(Lisbon: Domingos Carneiro, 1695);Herman Hugo,
Suspiros e saudades de Deus, translation of the Pia
139 Desideria by Fr. António das Chagas (Coimbra: Real
Imprensa da Universidade, 1830).
All four of these are Jesuit emblem books
and attest to the importance of this genre not only for
the
purpose
of
indoctrination
and
spiritual
edification, but probably also for education as part of
Figura 4
Diego Lopez, Declaracao magistral sobre os
Emblemas de Andre Alciato, trans. Theotonio
Cerqueira de Barros, 1695 (© Biblioteca Nacional de
Portugal (Lisbon), MS Cod.9221)
the curriculum of the famous colleges of the Society of Jesus in Portugal. Incidentally, the
emblematic output in Portugal seems to have been almost exclusively religious, even in its applied
versions.
12nSee
Pedro F. Campa, ‘The Spanish and Portuguese Adaptations of Herman Hugo’s Pia Desideria’, in Emblematic
Perceptions: Essays in Honor of William S. Heckscher on the Occasion of his Ninetieth Birthday. eds. Peter M. Daly and Daniel S.
Russell (Baden-Baden: Valentin Koerner, 1997), pp. 44-60); G. Richard Dimler, S.J., ‘Short Title Index of Jesuit
Emblem Books’, Emblematica, 2/1 (1987), 139-187.
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Emblem book by Portuguese author printed abroad
The Portuguese priest André Baião wrote in Latin verse Elogia Epigrammata et Emblemata
(Rome: Francesco Cavalli, 1641). The book is organized in accordance with the liturgical calendar
and divided into two parts: the first part is composed alternately of fifty-six numbered Elogia
(plus two non-numbered), and fifty-six
numbered Epigrammata, one for each Sunday
of the year; the second part is composed
alternately of forty-one numbered Elogia and
forty-one numbered Emblemata (plus one
non-numbered), one for each weekday of the
Quadragesima of the same Sundays. Each
epigram and each emblem deal with the same
matter of the immediately preceding Elogium.
The emblems are devised according to the
canonical tripartite scheme (except for three
which are deprived of inscriptio); each one is
140 illustrated by a small anonymous finely
engraved elliptical pictura inside an oblong
rectangle, with vegetal motives in the inner
Figura 5
Andrea Alciato Emblemata, anonymous translation, 1816-17
(© Biblioteca Pública Municipal do Porto, MS 44 Fundo
Azevedo)
corners,
surrounded
by
a
framework
consisting of a single row of a repetitive
typographic flower pattern.13
13nNot
in Praz and Landwehr. Father André Baião, a theologian, poet and distinguished grammarian, Hellenist and
Latinist born in Goa in 1566, is best known for his translations of Camoens’s Lusiads into Latin and Virgil’s Aeneid
into Greek, both left in manuscript. After graduating from Coimbra University he passed to Rome, where he spent
the rest of his life finishing his education, teaching, dedicating himself to the protection of children, and where he
died in 1639. Besides some published poems, he left many manuscripts kept in the library of San Pantaleone College,
among which one entitled Emblemas. The Elogia Epigrammata et Emblemata was printed posthumously. The book is
extremely rare and, although frequently mentioned in bibliographies, does not seem to have been studied or
described, and nor could I find a copy in Portugal’s major libraries. The National Central Libraries of Rome and
Florence hold copies which I have located only recently. See also Diogo Barbosa Machado, Biblioteca lusitana, 4 vols
(Lisbon: Inácio Rodrigues, 1741-59; reprinted in Coimbra: Atlântida, 1966-68) and the Grande enciclopédia portuguesa e b
rasileira (Lisbon-Rio de Janeiro: Enciclopédia, 1935-), s. v.
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None of these works has ever enjoyed subsequent editions (except for that by Joseph
Pereira Velozo, which had a further six editions up to 1830) and most of them are hard to come
by, even in the best libraries in Portugal and elsewhere; they seldom appear on the antiquarian
book market and, in the rare cases where this happens, they fetch quite high prices. So it would
be highly desirable and convenient for the furthering of emblem research that facsimile reprints
were provided.
Manuscript emblem books by Portuguese authors or translators
As mentioned above, a number of emblem manuscripts produced in Portugal, both in
Portuguese and in Latin, remained unpublished. Sandra Sider recorded thirty manuscripts, located
in different libraries in Coimbra, Évora, Lisbon, Oporto and Washington.14 For our study we
shall also consider those manuscripts in other languages by foreign authors, but produced in
Portugal.
Most of the manuscripts contain only descriptions of small numbers of emblems,
pictures, devices, enigmas, allegories, jetons and ceremonies, not always of real emblematic
significance and frequently bound up in volumes containing miscellaneous works. Of these, the
141 following ought to be mentioned, for their importance:
Luiz Nunes Tinoco, A pheniz de Portugal prodigioza, 1687 (Ms. 346 of the General
Library of Coimbra University and Ms. 52-VIII-37 of the Ajuda Library,
Lisbon);15 a translation into Portuguese, by Theotonio Cerqueira de Barros,
dated 1695, of Diego Lopez’s Declaración Magistral sobre las Emblemas de Andrés
Alciato (Cod. 9221 of the Lisbon National Library), including pen reproductions
of the picturae (Fig. 4);16 * a translation into Portuguese by Carlos del Soto, of
Marin le Roy, sieur de Gomberville’s, Le théatre moral de la vie humaine (Brussels:
François Foppens, 1678), with the title Theatro Moral da Vida Humana
representada em cento, e tres quadros. Sacados do poeta Horatio por Otho Venio.
Explicados em outros tantos discurssos Moraes (Ms 3109 of the University of Coimbra
Library);
14nSandra
Sider and Barbara Obrist (eds), Bibliography of Emblematic Manuscripts (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University
Press, 1997).
15nSider, Bibliography of Emblematic Manuscripts, No. 413 and 414. This manuscript was the object of an article by
Sandra Sider, ‘Luis Nunes Tinoco’s Architectural Emblematic Imagery in Seventeenth-Century Portugal: Making a
Name for a Palatine Princess’, in Emblems and the Manuscript Tradition, ed. Laurence Grove (Glasgow: Glasgow
Emblem Studies 2, 1997), pp. 63-79.
16nLandwehr, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Books, p. XVII; Pedro F. Campa, Emblemata Hispanica: An Annotated
Bibliography of Spanish Emblem Literature to the Year 1700 (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1990), No. Y7;
Sider, Bibliography of Emblematic Manuscripts, No. 314. This manuscript might be considered the first translation of
Alciato’s Emblemata into Portuguese, but it was made through Diego López’s prose translation into Spanish, placed
in direct order, interspersed among the long comments.
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an anonymous ‘naked’ verse translation into Portuguese, dated 1816-17, of
Alciato’s Emblemata (Ms 44 of the Azevedo Fund, Oporto Public Municipal
Library), apparently taken directly from the Latin (Fig. 5);17 *
Frei Gabriel da Purificação (whose secular name was Simão Antunes), Emprezas
Lusitanas contra Castelhanas Empresas, dated 1663, eighteen folios with picturae and
epigrams (Fig. 6).18
There are also notices of
several manuscript emblem books
on religious matters which have
disappeared.
The
Lisbon
National
Library holds the manuscript (Cod.
1230; Fig. 7)* by Friar José da
Assunção, Vita SS. Patris N. Aurelij
Augustini,
variis
emblematibus,
142 quae
et
eruditis
sibimetipsi
authoritatibus Sanctus Pater applicat, per
tres libros méthodo poética explanâtur,
dated 1745, including two-hundred
and
twenty-eight
‘naked’
19
emblems. In the prose comments
that follow the poetic subscriptiones,
the author shows his acquaintance
with emblem works by Alciato,
Valeriano, Curio, Chesneau, Hoyer,
Picinelli, Horozco y Covarrubias,
Saavedra Fajardo, and Prazeres.
Figura 6
Gabriel da Purificação = Simão Antunes, Emprezas Lusitanas contra
Castelhanas Empresas, 1663
(© Biblioteca do Palácio Ducal de Vila Viçosa)
17nSider,
Bibliography of Emblematic Manuscripts, No. 102.
Luís Stubbs Saldanha Monteiro Bandeira, Um valioso manuscrito da Biblioteca do Palácio Ducal de Vila Viçosa
(Lisbon: Horus, 1962). Not in Sider.
19nNot in Sider.
18nSee
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The National Library of Rio de Janeiro possesses a parchment manuscript (Ms I-14-1-11;
Fig. 8),20 with picturae in colour, entitled Principe Perfeito. Emblemas de D. João de Solórzano,
Parafrazeados em Sonetos portuguezes, e offerecidos ao Serenissimo Senhor D. João Príncipe do Brasil. Pello
Baxarel Francisco Antonio de Novaes Campos. Anno de 1790, which was published in facsimile in
Lisbon by the Instituto de Cultura e Língua Portuguesa in 1985, in a very handsome edition
prepared by Maria Helena de Teves Costa Ureña Prieto, with a dense introductory study.
As
for
lost
emblem
manuscripts, it is interesting to recall
Barbosa Machado’s notice in the
Biblioteca Lusitana about a collection of
emblems by the famous seventeenthcentury polygraph Francisco Manuel
de Melo, Verdades Pintadas e Escritas.
According to that bibliographer, it
contained one hundred moral imprese
drawn by the author’s own hand and
143 illustrated with discourses. During the
time he was composing this work,
Saavedra Fajardo’s Empresas políticas
came into his hands and he found
fourteen with the same body, letter
and allegory, although he had never
communicated with that statesman.21
Melo himself, in his Hospital das Letras,
Figura 7
José da Assunção, Vita SS. Patris N. Aurelij Augustini, variis et
eruditis emblematibus, quae sibimetipsi authoritatibus Sanctus Pater
applicat, per tres libros méthodo poética explanâtur, 1745
(© Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Lisboa), MS Cod.1230)
mentioned another unpublished title
of apparent emblematic nature as part of
his own bibliography: Arte Simbolatória e
Tratado das Insígnias Religiosas, Militares e Políticas, which might be the same work referred to by
Barbosa Machado.
20nNot
in Sider.
Machado, Biblioteca lusitana.
21nBarbosa
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A Portuguese translation of Alciato’s
Emblemata was never printed, in spite of its
strong influence in the cultivated circles of the
country, as stated in the beginning of this
article. For this reason, in order to make sure
that Portugal became represented in Alciato
bibliography, José Leite de Vasconcelos
published «Emblemas» de Alciato explicados em
Português (Oporto: Renascença Portuguesa,
1917), with the transcription of anonymous
manuscript explanations, in old Portuguese
prose, of one-hundred of Alciato’s emblems,
found in a copy of the Paris 1540 Wechel
edition.22
Foreign scholars residing in Portugal
also played a role in emblem readership in
144 Portugal. In 1552 Sebastian Stockhamer, a
German clerk of Coimbra University, wrote
succinct little comments in Latin to the first
part of Alciato’s Emblemata at the request of
Figura 8
João de Solórzano, Príncipe Perfeito. Emblemas [...]
Parafrazeados em Sonetos portuguezes, e offerecidos ao
Sereníssimo Senhor D. João Príncipe do Brasil. Pello
Baxarel Francisco Antonio de Novaes Campos, 1790
(© Rio de Janeiro, Biblioteca Nacional, MS I-14-1-11)
João de Meneses Sottomayor, Sire of Cantanhede, which had seven editions in Lyons, Antwerp,
and Geneva, from 1556 to 1614; similarly, the Spanish Francisco de Monzón, who was King
John III’s chaplain, had his emblem book Norte de Ydiotas printed in Lisbon in 1563.
Applied emblematics in Portugal: glazed tile panels
In approaching the field of applied emblematics I shall pass over the printed and
manuscript descriptions of ephemeral emblematic programs of solemn public ceremonies. These
include royal entries and visits,23 coronations, proclamations, princely weddings, funerals of high
personages, canonizations and other religious or secular festivities, which were as usual in
Portugal as elsewhere in Europe in those centuries. Similarly, I will leave on one side the use of
22nLandwehr,
23nSee,
French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Books, p. XVII; Campa, Emblemata Hispanica, No. Y8.
e.g., Ana Maria Alves, As entradas régias portuguesas: uma visão de conjunto (Lisbon: Horizonte, 1986).
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emblems in other arts and crafts,24 and will privilege the use of emblem motives in glazed tiles in
civil and religious architecture, a well-developed practice in Portugal in the eighteenth century,
and also the only means of expression in which Portugal made an unusual and original
contribution to emblematics.
In the following brief discussion of emblems in azulejos I shall pay no attention to the
usage of isolated devices, icons and allegories, which the present author describes elsewhere.25
Instead, we shall look at a particular series of wall panels which reproduce picturae from wellknown emblem books.
The most famous and well-studied among them are undoubtedly the series of thirty-seven
panels in the lower cloister of the convent of S. Francis in Salvador, Brazil, probably produced by
the Lisbon workshop of Bartolomeu Antunes between 1743 and 1746, which masterly copy, in
blue and white, emblems from Otto Vaenius’s Emblemata Horatiana.26 In the same city there are
two other panels from that same book in the Casa Goes Calmon, the seat of the Academy of
Letters of Bahia, one of them dated 1733 and both probably transferred from a religious
145 24nFor example, eight oil canvases of the late seventeenth century attributed to Bento Coelho da Silveira in the
sacristy of the Lisbon convent of São Pedro de Alcântara, based on emblems of Benedict van Haeften's Regia Via
Crucis (Antwerp: Officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti, 1635). See Luís de Moura Sobral, ‘A sacristia como
pinacoteca da época barroca: o ciclo pictural de Bento Coelho no Convento de S. Pedro de Alcântara’, in Do sentido
das imagens (Lisbon: Estampa,1996), pp. 81-96 (first publ. in Barroco, 15 (1990-1992), 137-145).
25nRubem Amaral Jr., Emblematica lusitana, Section 2.5. Besides other articles in the present volume, see also José Julio
García Arranz, ‘Las Obras de Misericordia y la emblemática: los azulejos de la iglesia de la Santa Casa de Misericórdia
en Évora (Portugal)’, in A Florilegium of Studies on Emblematics: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the Society for
Emblem Studies, A Coruña, 2002, ed. Sagrario López Posa (Ferrol: Sociedad de Cultura Valle Inclán, 2004), pp. 359370; id. ‘Un programa emblemático de exaltación mariana: los azulejos de la Ermida da Memória en el Sítio de Nazaré
(Portugal)’, Norba-Arte, 20-21 (2000-2001), 59-76; id. ‘Emblemática inmaculista en la azulejería barroca portuguesa: el
programa de la iglesia parroquial das Mercês de Lisboa’, in Emblemática y religión en la Península Ibérica (Siglo de Oro),
Ignacio Arellano and Ana Martínez Pereira (Eds.), Madrid - Frankfurt am Main, Universidad de Navarra –
Iberoamericana – Vervuert, 2010, pp. 147-172 (Biblioteca Áurea Hispánica, 63).
26nSee Frei Pedro Sinzig, O.F.M., Maravilhas da religião e da arte na Igreja e no Convento de São Francisco da Baía (Rio de
Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1934), pp. 170-219; Carlos F. Ott, ‘Os azulejos do Convento de São Francisco da Bahia’,
Revista do Serviço do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional, 7 (1943), pp. 7-34; Silvanisio Pinheiro, Azulejos do Convento de
S. Francisco da Bahia (Salvador: Livraria Turista, 1951), pp. 1-71; Santiago Sebastián, El barroco iberoamericano: mensaje
iconográfico (Madrid: Encuentro, 1990); id., Emblemática e Historia del Arte (Madrid: Cátedra, 1995), pp. 263-276; id.,
‘Theatro Moral de la Vida Humana’, Boletín del Museo e Instituto Camón Aznar, 14 (1983); id., ‘Arte iberoamericano’,
Summa Artis, 29 (1985), 185-191; id., ‘La edición española del “Theatro Moral de la Vida Humana” y su influencia en
las artes plásticas de Brasil y Portugal’, in As relações artísticas entre Portugal e Espanha na época dos Descobrimentos, ed.
Pedro Dias (Coimbra: Minerva, 1987), pp. 381-406 (first publ. in Barroco, 13 (1984-1985), 384-485); João Miguel dos
Santos Simões, Azulejaria Portuguesa no Brasil (1500-1822) (Lisbon: Gulbenkian, 1965), pp. 129-139; Alexandre Nobre
Pais, ‘O Theatro Moral de la Vida Humana no Convento de São Francisco da Bahia’, Oceanos, 36/37 (Oct. 1998/Mar.
1999), 100-124; Maurício Paranhos da Silva, ‘Les Azulejos du Couvent de Saint François à Bahia’, Journal de Genève,
297 (1959); Maria Helena de Teves Costa Ureña Prieto, ‘Horácio no Brasil’, in Miscelânea de estudos lingüísticos, filológicos
e literários in memoriam Celso Cunha (Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 1995), pp. 677-698; Fr. Hugo Fragoso, Um teatro
mitológico ou um sermão em Azulejos? Claustro do Convento de São Francisco, Salvador—Bahia—Brasil (Paulo Afonso: Fonte
Viva, 2006).
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institution.27 Eight panels of the same source could be found in Lisbon in the Coruchéus Palace
(Alvalade, Lisbon), of circa 1740-1745; most of them were transferred in 1970 to the collections
of the City Museum, although three of these are at present on loan to the Ministry of Finance,
decorating its main entrance hall;28 there are three more of circa 1740 in the São João de Deus
convent. Both series are attributed to the painter Valentim de Almeida and to Antunes’
workshop.29
The Museu Nacional do Azulejo (National Museum of Glazed Tiles), in the ancient
Convent of Madre de Deus, in Lisbon, possesses some other series in its collections or as fixed
decorations in its cloister, namely a series of six panels based on Benedict van Haeftens’s Schola
cordis and twenty-nine others on the Regia via sanctae crucis30 by the same author, in the upper
cloister, formerly in the Augustinian convent of Grilos; in the Brotherhood House of Santa Cruz
da Ribeira, in Santarém, there are seven panels, and in the chapter house of the former convent
of Santa Marta (at present a hospital) in Lisbon, there are thirteen more panels, after Hugo’s Pia
desideria.31
The church of the Royal Convent of Jesus, in Setúbal, has a series of fourteen panels
modelled after emblematic plates conceived by August Casimir Redel on invocations of the litany
146 of Loretto from the Elogia Mariana, which were themselves redrawn by Thomas Scheffler and
engraved by Martin Engelbrecht, printed in Augsburg in 1732. Originally eighteen, four of them
were removed in a reform and their components have since disappeared.32
As a suggestion for research by interested students, I would mention, for example, one of
the allegorical glazed tile panels in the Corridor of the Sleeves (Corredor das Mangas) of the
Queluz Palace, near Lisbon, by Francisco Jorge da Costa, 1784, depicting a composite
polychrome scene where several emblematic images appear simultaneously, such as: in the lower
27nSee
Mário Barata, Azulejos no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro: Jornal do Comércio, 1955), p. 164; Pedro Moacir Maia,
‘Xantipe Sócrates em painel de azulejos’, Revista da Academia de Letras da Bahia, 47 (April 2006), 25-33.
28nSee João Miguel dos Santos Simões, Azulejaria portuguesa no Brasil, pp. 271-272; Sebastián, ‘La edición española del
“Theatro Moral de la Vida Humana”’, pp. 401-402.
29nSee José Meco, ‘Algumas fontes flamengas do azulejo português: Otto Van Veen, Rubens’, Azulejo, 3/7 (19951999), 28-39.
30nSee Santiago Sebastián, ‘Los emblemas del Camino Real de la Cruz de Van Haeften’, Boletín del Museo e Instituto Camón
Aznar, 44 (1991), 5-64.
31nSee Victor Serrão, Santarém (Lisboa: Presença, 1990), p. 93 and João Pedro Monteiro, ‘Os “Pia Desideria”, uma
fonte iconográfica da azulejaria portuguesa do século XVIII’, Azulejo, 3/7 (1995-1999), 61-70.
32nJosé António Falcão, ‘Azulejaria setecentista do Real Convento de Jesus de Setúbal. Alguns aspectos históricos e
iconográficos’, in Relaciones artísticas entre la Península Ibérica y América: actas del V simposio hispano-portugués de Historia del
Arte (11-13 Mayo 1989) (Valladolid: Universidad de Valladolid, 1990), pp. 103-112.
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centre, three persons in ancient costumes, two of whom certainly females, in different poses,
seated on the steps of a platform consisting of stone slabs; the third person, holding what seems
to be a sling in one hand, might represent King David; around this central group, at the top is a
sunflower turned towards the sky, and a bush, possibly a rosebush, with butterflies flying over it;
to the left, there is a phoenix in flames at the top of a hill, a small palm tree, and a pyramid; a
sunbeam descending from behind a cloud that conceals the bright sun is reflected in a mirror
held by one of the women and lights a pyre inside a big tripod beside them to the right.33 Many of
these elements are symbols associated with the Virgin Mary. Is this an original creation of the
painter or rather a gathering of elements of different emblems from a book?
Emblem studies in Portugal are still incipient, and practically non-existent in Brazil.
Consequently, the links between glazed tiles and emblems have presumably not yet been well
exploited by the scholars of the respective areas. Besides, the existing works on the already
known cases are so scattered in a number of books, journals and proceedings of conferences and
other events of the kind that have little or no relation with emblematic studies and forums, that
they hardly come to the knowledge of emblem researchers or are of difficult access. In this article
I have tried to give an as exhaustive list of them as possible. Therefore it is probable that other
147 relationships of this kind will come to light, since the use of such material was widespread
throughout the country and its colonial empire in Brazil and Africa, and possibly also in regions
of Portuguese influence in the East.
Acknowledgements
I will not let pass this occasion to congratulate the editors of Glasgow Emblem Studies
on their decision to open space for the divulgation of Portuguese emblematics in this important
collection and Dr. Luís Gomes for organizing this volume. Acknowledgements are also due to
Sérgio Benutti, of Salvador (Bahia), Prof. Alessandra Anselmi (Università di Calabria), Prof. Jaime
Cuadriello (Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Mexico), Dr. Manuel Cadafaz de Matos, Centro de
Estudos de História do Livro e da Edição—CEHLE (Lisbon) and Prof. José Brissos (of the
33nSee
photo in José Meco, Azulejaria portuguesa (Lisbon: Bertrand, 1985), Fig. 62.
*nI have made non-commercial computer diplomatic transcriptions of these manuscripts, preceded by short
presentation texts in Portuguese, Spanish, English and French, of which there are photocopies in the University of
Glasgow Library as well as in the original libraries. The libraries of the universities of A Coruña and Extremadura, in
Spain, possess photocopies of a transcription of Diego López’s Declaração Magistral.
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Centre of History of the Lisbon University) for supplying me with copies of various articles and
manuscripts.
148 Rubem Amaral Júnior

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