Union is Love's Wish

H. van Asperen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output


    Around 1587 the Haarlem engraver Jacob Matham executed a print series of the seven virtues and seven vices after designs by Hendrick Goltzius. Goltzius added an unusual element to the figure group of Charity: two boys embracing and kissing. In a slightly earlier printed version of the same subject the kiss-embrace is missing. Based on related emblems the subject can be identified as love’s wish to become one with the object of desire. In emblems this motif is applied to both marital and divine love. In my paper I will focus on the visual and textual sources of the motif. I propose Goltzius’s print was visually inspired by fi fteenth- and sixteenth-century images of the encounter of the holy infants that reflect medieval views on mystical marriage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
    EventRSA Annual Meeting 2014 - Hilton Midtown, New York City, United States
    Duration: 27 Mar 201429 Mar 2014


    ConferenceRSA Annual Meeting 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityNew York City


    • charity
    • iconography
    • art history


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