Emblematyczność w polskich drukach różańcowych w pierwszej połowie XVII wieku
Emblematics in Polish rosary books from the first half of the17th century
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The aim of this paper is to present three Polish rosary books from the first half of 17th century and introduce research into their connections with the art of emblems. The most important works were created in the circle of Dominican Order in Cracow. The rhetoric culture of this centre remains still undiscovered, however the oeuvre of the most famous Dominican orator, Fabian Birkowski, is very appreciated by contemporary scholars. Although the name of the author of the Sposób mówienia Psałterzyka is still unknown, we can suppose that he was closely related to the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, established among the Dominican Convent of Cracow. Sposób mówienia Psałterzyka is a typical prayer book; every meditation related with the Mysteries of the rosary is illustrated, however it is not a classic emblem book. Mentioned work was very popular in 17th century; there were about 10 editions of this book between 1600 and 1650. It was created for everyday devotional use of the members of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. The second work, Ogród Różany was written by Walerian Lithuanides, one of the most important Dominicans in Cracow from the first half of the 17th century. He introduced the Angelus Domini prayer to Polish adherents and initiated annual processions on the feast day of the Virgin Mary of the Rosary. His book is a compendium of information on the rosary, it contains meditations and stories about miracles related with this prayer and also a series of quasi-emblematic texts. The last one – Ogród Rozkoszny by Adrian Wieszczycki is a typical emblem book, not related to the Dominican circle, but created as an elaborate gift for the writers noble patron. The authors of these three books used emblematic (or quasi-emblematic) schemes especially to help the venerators of Virgin Mary to combine prayer and meditation in the virtue of symbolic images referring to the Mysteries of the rosary.
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