Emblem

DEFINITION

In art criticism, an object or a representation that functions as a symbol, or a picture associated with a verse or motto presenting a moral lesson. Also, may refer to a distinctive badge, design, or device. A flag is an emblem.Examples: Hans Holbein the Younger (German, 1497/98?1543), Sir Thomas More, 1527, oil on wood panel, 29 1/2 x 23 3/4 inches (74.9 x 60.3 cm), Frick Collection, NY. "Thomas More (1477/78?1535), humanist scholar, author, and statesman, served Henry VIII as diplomatic envoy and Privy Councillor prior to his election as speaker of the House of Commons in 1523. The chain More wears in this portrait is an emblem of service to the King, not of any specific office. In 1529 More succeeded Cardinal Wolsey as Lord Chancellor, but three years later he resigned that office over the issue of Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, and subsequently he refused to subscribe to the Act of Supremacy making the King head of the Church of England. For this he was convicted of high treason and beheaded. Venerated by the Catholic Church as a martyr, More was beatified in 1886 and canonized in 1935 on the four-hundredth anniversary of his death." ? notes from the Frick Collection.China, Emperor's 12-Symbol Robe, 18th century, Ching dynasty, silk, metallic thread, 63 1/2 x 56 3/4 inches (161.29 x 144.15 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. The emblems reserved for the emperor's ceremonial robes were the twelve imperial symbols seen on this garment: sun, moon, constellation, mountain, pair of dragons, bird, cups, water weed, millet, fire, ax, and the symmetrical "fu" symbol.

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