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Rhetorica

  • Object:

    Engraving

  • Place of origin:

    England (printed)
    London (published)

  • Date:

    1645 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cleyn, Francis, born 1582 - died 1658 (etcher)
    Hinde, Thomas (Publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mr Arthur Laws

  • Museum number:

    E.1278-1936

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case EO, shelf 11

This print is from a series of etchings by Francis Cleyn showing the liberal arts as female figures. The seven liberal arts were defined in late antiquity, and became the traditional curriculum of secular learning in the Middle Ages. They were divided into two groups: the trivium (grammar, logic or dialectics and rhetoric) and the quadrivium (geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and music). Representing the liberal arts as young women with their identifying attributes complements the conventional description of them by the grammarian Martianus Capellus, made as early as the fifth century.

This print shows a male and female figure sitting at a desk, with the male intently listening to the female, who represents Rhetoric. The window in the corner opens to a view of somebody addressing a crowd of people.

Physical description

Print showing female and male figures sitting at a desk, the male figure is making notes, with books on the floor and a bird in a birdcage above.

Place of Origin

England (printed)
London (published)

Date

1645 (printed)

Artist/maker

Cleyn, Francis, born 1582 - died 1658 (etcher)
Hinde, Thomas (Publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Etching on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Lettered in the upper right of the plate:

'RHETORICA'

Dimensions

Height: 12.5 cm Cut to, Width: 10.4 cm Cut to

Object history note

The seven liberal arts were defined in late antiquity, and became the traditional curriculum of secular learning in the Middle Ages. They were divided into two groups: the trivium (Grammar, Logic or Dialetics and Rhetoric) and the quadrivium (Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy and Music). This representation of them as young women and their identifying attributes matches the conventional description made as early as the fifth century by the grammarian Martianus Capellus.

Descriptive line

Francis Cleyn, 'Rhetorica'. Plate from a suite of 7 including title plate showing the seven liberal arts entitled 'Septem Liberales Artes'. London, England, 1645.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1936, London: Board of Education, 1937.
D. Guilmard, Les Maîtres Ornemanistes, Paris, 1880-81, p.398, no. 43

Labels and date

EIGHT PRINTS: THE SEVEN LIBERAL ARTS
English, 1645
Etchings by Francis Clein (1582-1658), published in London

The seven liberal arts were defined in late antiquity, and became the traditional curriculum of secular learning in the middle ages. They were divided into two goups: the trivium (Grammar, Logic or Dialectics and Rhetoric) and quadrivium (Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy and Music). This representation of them as young women and their idenitfying attributes matches the conventional description made as early as the fifth century by the grammarian Martianus Capellus.

E. 1273-80 - 1936 (Given by Mr. Arthur Lewis)[sic, Laws] []

Materials

Printing ink

Techniques

Etching

Subjects depicted

Liberal arts (Medieval studies); Books; Personification; Birdcage

Categories

Prints; Ornament prints; Allegory

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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