Archive for May 18th, 2013

May 18, 2013

Corpus Sine Capite Visibili

an aenigmaticall emblem, or, a modell of these distemper’d times being an apparent body, well proportioned, upright and streight, but yet without any visible head, in this our most unhappy mereridian [sic] of London, lately conceived in a dreame or slumber, and now delineated, penned and produced, to the open view of the world / by I.M., Student of Exon. in Oxon. Poetical tract penned in 1642 as a gentle satire on the state of the country. The author obviously has parliament leanings as he talks about the body:

The Body well composed and well bent, 
Portends a Wise Religious PARLIAMENT

and the missing head:

The DIADEM encompast with a Wreath, 
Doth show the Crowne is safe though Mars doth breath

In terms that I would expect from a moderate parliamentarian. Remember though that this was 1642, before years of war that would lead to the king actually having his head removed. This is satire, albeit rather prophetic.

The body is clothed in a finely decorated fitted doublet and breeches, falling band and cuffs with lace edging, hose and open latchet shoes. He is trampling on a typical many headed royalist monster, the heads represent a rebel, a cavalier and the Pope.


Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 08.28.00