Emblem

Emblem. A baroque literary art form that consisted of a symbolic drawing accompanied usually by a motto or a versed maxim and sometimes even by longer prose commentary. In Ukraine emblem verses were widespread in the 17th–18th century. Collections of these verses appeared in print—for example, L. Krszczonowicz's panegyric to Lazar Baranovych, Redivivus Phoenix (Chernihiv 1682–4) and Ifika iieropolitika (Ethica Hieropolitica, Kyiv 1712). Teofan Prokopovych wrote cycles of emblematic verses about the christening of Kyivan Rus’ and in memory of Varlaam Yasynsky. Hryhorii Skovoroda provided a theoretical foundation for the emblem literary art form. His own emblem drawings have not yet been published. Among the translated works that were well known at the time were H. Hugo's Pia Desideria (from German) and D. Saavedra Falandro's collection of political emblems (translated from Spanish by Prokopovych). Heraldic poetry, which was popular in Ukraine in the 16th–17th century, was closely related to emblem verses.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]




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