Sidney and Junius on Poetry and Painting: From the Margins to the Center

Sidney and Junius on Poetry and Painting: From the Margins to the Center

Sidney and Junius on Poetry and Painting: From the Margins to the Center

Sidney and Junius on Poetry and Painting: From the Margins to the Center

Synopsis

Franciscus Junius the Younger (1591-1677) is famous as virtually the founder of Germanic philology. But he also composed, at the request of the Earl of Arundel, whom he served as librarian, an influential treatise on the art of painting as it is viewed in ancient literature. This book discusses his marginalia to the works of Philip Sidney.

Excerpt

This book evolved in rather unexpected ways. my first INFORmation about Junius’s annotations to Sidney came from Philipp Fehl, to whose memory this book is dedicated. He had himself learned of the annotations from Ph. H. Breuker of Leiden University. But the ultimate source was Rolf Bremmer Jr., who had been identifying Junius’s hand in the volumes that formed part of the Isaac Vossius library, purchased by Leiden University in 1689. Long considered annotated by Vossius, the Sidney volume had not attracted any particular notice.

Once the annotations were identified as the work of Franciscus Junius, the famous scholar of Germanic philology and author of an important treatise on the visual arts, both Philipp Fehl and I saw the potential for a new insight into Sidney’s works, as well as into their reception in the seventeenth century.

As soon as possible, I set off to Leiden to examine this new find. On that occasion, I met, very briefly, Rolf Bremmer, who had arranged a symposium on Junius to take place within a few months, in 1992. a little later, he invited me to contribute an article on the Sidney annotations to a volume that would contain the papers from the symposium, with the title Franciscus Junius F.F. and His Circle.

From the beginning, I viewed Junius’s annotations as providing a kind of gloss on his treatise, The Painting of the Ancients (1638). To relate these two became central to my interpretation. Originally, I had no thought of writing anything other than an article, but by the time it was finished, I realized that this was a subject for a book, not simply an article.

The study of marginalia has become increasingly important to scholars. Heather Jackson in her book Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books (2001) says: “Given the recent shift from the writer to the reader and to the production, dissemination, and reception of texts, marginalia of all periods would appear to be potentially a goldmine for scholars.” From Junius’s annotations to Sidney . . .

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