From Weasels to Ostriches: The Influence of Ancient Egyptian Iconography on the Creation and Development of the Emblematic Genre

Hugh Cullimore, M.A.

Hugh’s PhD is entitled ‘From Weasels to Ostriches: The Influence of Ancient Egyptian Iconography on the Creation and Development of the Emblematic Genre’. His work during the Census x Hertziana x Warburg fellowship is two-fold: adding to, and editing the ancient Egyptian objects within the Census database, and creating his own database using the Census’s platform that will map out the Hieroglyphics of Horapollo and how knowledge of this text inspired and informed the emblematic genre.
Hugh’s study aims to illustrate just how prolific the influence of this text was on the creation and development of the emblematic genre with a key focus on the works of Andrea Alciato, Pierio Valeriano, and Cesare Ripa.
The database that Hugh aims to build will map out each of the hieroglyphics in the Hieroglyphics of Horapollo and when these hieroglyphics appear in the works of Alciato, Valeriano, and Ripa. The final goal of this database is develop a concise platform through which researchers can interrogate the Egyptian influences on the emblematic genre, and in turn show just how prolific this influence was. This aims to create a resource for future research into the use and application of this Egyptian iconography by artists using emblem books to inspire their compositions. Individual case studies developed from the database will then form a much of the corpus of Cullimore’s PhD.

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