Picturing Ethics: Words and Images in Early Modern Italian Illustrated Collections of Proverbs, Copybooks and Emblem Books

My book, tentatively titled “Images of Knowledge. The Textual, the Visual, and the Moral in Early Modern Italian Culture,” explores combinations of text and image intended for moral instruction in Italian print culture from the early sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century. By focusing on the production, interpretation, and consumption of these combinations, my project evaluates their intended objectives, the techniques used to produce them, and the audiences that they addressed. At the Herzog August Bibliothek, I will focus on key genres of early modern print culture, including calligraphy specimens, emblems, and illustrated proverbs in popular prints. I will explore some of the most important reference collections of emblems and devices from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Moreover, I will analyze a seminal work among illustrated collections of proverbs, Giuseppe Maria Mitelli’s Proverbi figurati, as well as calligraphy copybooks such as those by Giovanni Antonio Tagliente, Giovanni Francesco Cresci, Ludovico (Vicentino) degli Arrighi, and Giovanni Battista Palatino.