Moral images of Christian origin
Year mention: 1617
Moral imagery
Sacred vs. profane imagery

Despite the usefulness of pagan art and authors for moral imagery, Christian writers and artists offer even more examples

Molanus, Johannes
Frostispiece of Molanus, De historia sanctarum imaginum et picturarum (1617), Antwerp, Gasparus Bellerus
Frontispiece of Molanus, De historia sanctarum imaginum et picturarum (1617), Antwerp, Gasparus Bellerus
Augsburg, Staats- und Stadtbibliothek — Th H 1475. Digital Reproduction: München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2015.

Molanus nuances the usefulness to moral instruction of profane art in comparison to Christian writings and art since they offer much more examples.

“In fact, even disregarding all the images of the saints, there are many more moral images among Christians than among pagans, for in the painting of vices and virtues, and of the struggle in which they are engaged, there is more judgement and more enlightenment among Christians than there has ever been among all the pagan nations. Thus Prudentius and other Christian authors deliver at pleasure very solid and useful themes for our consideration. It is a great pleasure for us to be able to see that this is the case in all the countries of the world, and that it is the case in all the countries of the world. John Chrysostom does the same for friendship in his homily 29 on the Gospel of Matthew. And Robert Holcot does a fine job of painting vices and virtues in his work on morals.
One also has to mention here the emblems of our recent authors, among others Andrea Alciati, Adrian Junus, John Sambucus and Claude Paradin, with his Devises Heroiques et Emblemes, etc. “

“Porro apud Christianos multo plures reperiuntur ethicae et morales imagines quam apud paganos, etiam sepositis omnibus sacris sanctorum picturis. In virtutibus enim vitiis, eorumque pugnis depingendis plus iudicii est et luminis apud Christianos, quam umquam fuerit apud ullos gentiles. Itaque apud Prudentium et alios, plura, solidiora et utiliora licet observare. Tertullianus in oratione qua piis patientiam commendat, eius imaginem ingeniose depingit. Chrysostomus amicitiam Homil. 29. In Matthaeum. Neque omnino infeliciter Robertus Holcot in libro morali talium virtutum et vitiorum picturas tractat.
Huc pertinent etiam emblemata recentiorum istorum. Inter quos Andreas Alciatus, Adriuanus Iunius, Ioannes Sambucus, Heroica Symbola Claudii Paradini et eius generis plurima.” 

Date mention

Historical Location

Molanus, De historia sanctarum imaginum et picturarum (1617), book 2, ch. 60, 210

Molanus 1996, 303-304.

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