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270 Reviews in re-situating early modern intellectual works in then context, especially as regards the meaning of the contemporary humanistscholastic debate. She wiU force all those w h o use the terms humanist' and 'scholastic' to contextualise their meanings. Susan Broomhall School of European Languages University of Western Australia Russell, Daniel, Emblematic Structures in Renaissance French Cultur (University of Toronto Romance Series, 71), Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1995; cloth; pp. xvi, 336; 57 illustrations; R.R.P. US$75.00, £49.00. Daniel Russell's latest work comes in the light of much recent research and increasing interest in the field of the emblem tradition. Indeed, in the past decade, Russell's o w n articles and books in this area have contributed much to our understanding of this important Renaissance literary genre. To his present work, an ambitious project, Russell brings a detaUed scholarly background. H e states that the emblem itself is not under discussion, but rather is only useful in so far as i t helps define what an emblematic image is, and to understand the mentaUty of the culture that was famiUar with reading emblems. Emblematic structures represent an 'epistemological form' whose development Russell intends to show from medieval to early m o d e m society. H e offers a detailed study of the antecedents and traditions from which the emblem form borrowed and then analyses its diverse and unstable form during the Renaissance. This, Russell explains, is to contextualise the way in which a contemporary author might have intended it and in which the reader might have read it. For Russell proposes that 'emblematic forms should be seen principaUy as symptoms of a transitional mentaUty that defines the period between the Middle Ages and the coming of Romanticism in the middle of the eighteenth century, and at least in some measure, governs its rhetoric and its aesthetic response to art' (p. 8). A n essential part of the work consists in determining what form the emblem takes. RusseU rejects the simpUcity of emblem conformity Reviews 271 to what Saunders defines as a generic tripartite form, instead viewing the form as highly unstable. In his insistence on the diversity of the emblem form, Russell Ukewise renders the terminology of Henkel and Schone, and Heckscher and Wirth problematic. His recognition of the diversity and instabUity of the emblem form leads to his hypothesis on the development of the emblem tradition into emblematic forms in a wider cultural study. This includes pictorial representations and emblematic structures in other cultural phenomena. RusseU's text is divided into three major sections. His first section, devoted to medieval and early Renaissance antecedents, details the contribution of the medieval arts of Ulumination, typology and aUegory to the formation of the Renaissance Uterary emblem genre and the aUegorical inheritance of sixteenth-century thought, visible in an emblem tradition that retained a sense of the moraUsing nature of the aUegory, yet, unlike it, had polyvalent readings. By analysing proto-emblematics in the early sixteenth century, such as the emblematic structures in compositions, often poUtical propaganda, at the court of Francois 1, Russell concludes that by the end of first thud of the sixteenth century, the elements for the presentation of message in a picture were weU-known, providing a cultural climate in which Alciato found a receptive audience. The second section studies emblem books as they appeared in sixteenth-century France, focussing particularly on Alciato's work as it developed in the twenty years from its first pubUcation in the 1530s. RusseU also explores the bibUographical history of emblem works, observing that the relative lack of printed coUections of emblems in France after 1570 does not reflect their widespread influence on other 'unemblematic' works. This leaves the final section, 'Emblematics and the Structuring of a Culture', to explore what is potentiaUy RusseU's most innovative argument and the most useful section to the general reader from the Uterary or historical fields. Here RusseU develops his theory on the influence of appUcations of emblematic structures in other cultural phenomena including painting and architecture. W h e n a motif or allusion in painting or discourse can be integrated only in an allegorical...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 270-273
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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