Carthusian Emblem Book
Le paradis terrestre, ou, emblemes sacrez de la solitude, dediez au saint ordre des Chartreux, avec un recueil des plus beaux vers Latins & François sur la solitude, la plus part non encore imprimez.
Paris: Jean Henault, 1655.
Particularly popular in the sixteen and seventeenth centuries, emblem books invite meditation on specific concepts through symbolic imagery, poetic epigrams, and prose narratives. This example features images from nature which are interpreted in the text according to the theological perspective and cultural values of the Carthusian order. The beehive represents the monastery and the virtues of labor, humility, and egalitarianism. The emphasis on labor intus (“labor within”) also recalls the virtue of silence, which is further extolled throughout the book.