Brighter thenceforth

Joseph Zoller (1676–1750).
Conceptus chronographicus de Concepta Sacra Deipara.
Augsburg: Johann Michael Labhart, 1712.


Joseph Zoller’s work on the art and symbolism of the Immaculate Conception utilizes the format of the emblem book but enhances it with anagrams and chronograms. Chronograms locate and capitalize within words specific letters that correspond to Roman numerals. Printers sometimes employed these symbols on title pages to indicate publication dates. Zoller here exceeds that purpose, filling each page of his book with a multitude of chronograms, thereby adding a mysterious numerological element. In the featured image, the pure and unblemished mirror suggests the Virgin Mary, while the sun refers to the glory of God. The symbol of a mirror reflecting the sun appears frequently in emblem books.


Clarior inde (Brighter thenceforth).

Brighter thenceforth