Chapter Nine
Illustrating the Classics and the Self: John Ogilby and his Self-Fashioning Portraits

Tali Winkler

John Ogilby’s life was filled with a great variety of ventures, from dance and theatre to classics and cartography. Although he is best remembered for his atlases, he first gained his reputation as a scholar and printer with his translations of the classics. Ogilby’s success in the world of books came in significant part from his understanding of the importance of the visual and material elements of book making. This understanding is particularly evident in his utilization of the frontispiece portrait in many of his published works, which reflected his active involvement in the fashioning of his own image.

 

Ogilby and the Visual Elements of Printing

John Ogilby (1600–76), was born in Scotland to humble origins, and was apprenticed to a dancing-master in London as a young boy.[1] His success in dancing led him to perform before King James and the royal court, but an injury left him unable to dance again.[2] Despite this setback, Ogilby maintained the connections he had formed at court. He became dancing-master and manager of the first theatre established in Ireland under Thomas Wentworth, the Earl of Strafford. However, after the Irish Rebellion in October 1641, he returned to England penniless.[3] Ogilby then turned to the classics and began publishing translations of works into English from their original Latin or Greek. He was quite successful in this endeavor, utilizing a system of subscriptions to his benefit.[4] After the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, he continued to be involved both in publishing and in Irish theatre.[5] Eventually he moved away from the classics and towards cartography, becoming the Royal Cartographer and Cosmographer near the end of his life.[6]

Ogilby’s time as a dancing student, and then as the dancing-master and manager of a theater, taught him much about ways of successfully depicting a scene to an audience. The years he spent working in the arts laid the groundwork for his attention to the visual, rather than solely the written, elements in printing. Ogilby took this sensitivity with him as he entered the book-publishing business. He understood that the incorporation of various material and paratextual elements could have a profound effect on the reader’s encounter with and understanding of a book. Thus, like many authors, Ogilby designed his books with the goal of attempting to influence the readers’ understandings and to place his books within the context of earlier print traditions.[7]

Ogilby utilized a number of strategies in his attempt to shape readers’ encounters with his books. First, he used excellent-quality paper. Paper had always been one of the most expensive aspects of book production. During this period, good-quality paper was not being produced in England itself, thus forcing printers to import from France or the Netherlands. An imposed import tax only added to the expense.[8] Second, Ogilby left wide margins in his works, giving each page an impressive look and allowing users the option of taking notes in the margins. This stylistic decision also added to the cost of printing, as less text was included on each page and therefore more paper was needed to complete each copy. Third, he used clear and clean type, making his works easy and pleasant to read.

In addition to these material features, he often included a critical apparatus of extensive notes and glosses. During the Renaissance, classical texts could be encountered in any number of settings, and the reading of the classics could be approached with a number of attitudes.[9] Some works would have been read leisurely, for pleasure. Others would have been pored over by scholars. The size of the book itself and the presence or absence of any accompanying texts would have been essential in determining the way in which the book was intended to be used. For example, an octavo with no notes would have been encountered as an object of leisure; this is drastically different from a folio edition with extensive glosses, which would have been encountered as an object for serious study.[10] Despite the fact that almost all of Ogilby’s printed classics were in translation,[11] the inclusion of such an extensive scholarly apparatus, as well as the size of the works, located his editions within the context of serious humanistic scholarship and education. Thomas Hobbes, when explaining why he did not include notes or glosses in his own translation of Homer, claimed that he could not hope to do it better than Ogilby had done, and that his readers should consult Ogilby’s editions for their critical apparatus.[12]

However, it was his extensive use of illustrations that was most characteristic of his works and most reflective of his understanding of the book as a medium. His first work, a translation of the works of Virgil, was printed by John Crook in 1649.[13] This octavo edition contained a frontispiece portrait of Ogilby, which will be discussed below, opposite a frontispiece featuring a bust of Virgil. However, it did not contain any further illustrations, or a critical apparatus of any kind. Perhaps Ogilby, as he began this new venture, did not have enough capital to produce illustrations for the text, or perhaps he did not yet realize the importance that illustrations would come to have in his printing endeavors.

Ogilby’s second work, on the other hand, included copious illustrations. His translation of Aesop’s Fables was printed by Andrew Crook, the brother of John Crook, in folio form in 1651.[14] In addition to a frontispiece portrait, the work contained eighty full-page plates illustrating each of the fables. Ogilby knew that the illustrations would be a major factor in the success of the work, and advertised their presence on the frontispiece opposite his own portrait, below a scene showing Aesop telling his tales to an audience of men and beasts. He writes:

Examples are best Precepts; And a Tale
Adorn’d with Sculpture better may prevaile
To make Men lesser Beasts, than all the store
Of tedious volumes, vext the World before.[15]

The “sculptures,” as he would call subsequent illustrations as well, rendered the fables more effective, and presumably more enjoyable.

The illustrations in Ogilby’s first edition of Aesop’s Fables were etched, while all of the illustrations in his subsequent works would be engraved. In seventeenth-century England, there was a clear hierarchy of types of illustrations. The woodcut was the least preferred, as the image it produced was a bit cruder in nature; it was also the cheapest way to produce images. Etchings were more expensive than woodcuts and produced an image that was more sophisticated than a woodcut, but retained a sketch-like quality. Finally, engraving was the most preferred medium for illustration: this process could create images that were more complex, and it was also a significantly more expensive process.[16] There are numerous contemporary remarks disparaging etchings in favor of engravings, showing a real aesthetic preference for the latter.[17] Ogilby was presumably aware of this preference, and used the highest quality illustrations in all subsequent works. Perhaps here, as he was just starting out in this new trade, he was forced to use the lesser medium for financial or other reasons. Ogilby also employed some of the best artists and engravers of his period for the illustrations in his works. He utilized the services of Wenceslaus Hollar, Francis Clein, Abraham van Diepenbeeck, and other famous artists of the time.[18]

Although Ogilby’s elaborate folio editions were new to the English book market, they were modeled after various French prototypes. Michele de Marolles’s 1649 edition of Virgil, for example, was the inspiration for Ogilby’s 1654 edition.[19] As opposed to his first edition, which only contained the text of Virgil, the 1654 edition also included illustrations and a critical apparatus. For the marginal commentary included in this volume, Ogilby relied upon the commentary on Virgil written by Joanne Ludovico de la Cerda, a Spanish Jesuit, as well as others. However, Ogilby’s page is far superior to de la Cerda’s in terms of layout and visual appeal.[20] It is interesting to note that Ogilby was clearly aware of and familiar with the international book market, and was able to identify various parts of this market, such as a specific format from France and a commentary from Spain, that he thought would be appealing to an English market. This selectivity, along with his sensitivity to the importance of the visual, contributed to Ogilby’s ability to enter the English book market with a remarkable degree of success.

 

Ogilby’s Place in the History of Frontispiece Portraits

One of the many ways in which an author or publisher could actively shape the reader’s encounter with the book, as well as the reception of the book and its author, is through the frontispiece. Many types of images can appear as frontispieces, such as depictions of scenes from the work, busts of classical authors, or contemporary portraits. In these portraits, an engraved image of the author often appears within a masonry frame, along with Latin or Greek inscriptions. David Piper has located the origins of the frontispiece portrait in the scrolls and codices of antiquity, conveying the idea that the author is essentially talking to the reader.[21] Margery Corbet and Ronald Lightbown point to the medieval tradition of authors including portrayals of themselves in presentation copies of their manuscripts.[22] The first English poet to be portrayed in a naturalistic portrait is, fittingly, Geoffrey Chaucer.[23] However, portraiture was slow to establish itself in England, and there are hardly any portraits other than tomb effigies that survive from the fifteenth century.[24] It is not until the end of the sixteenth century that portraits spread outside of court circles.[25] George Chapman, who published the first complete translation of Homer’s works into English, was one of the earliest authors to include a frontispiece portrait.[26] The portrait, which was published during his lifetime in 1616, shows Chapman’s head surrounded by clouds and a ring of inscription, with another long Latin inscription below.

The frontispiece portrait emerged as a common feature of British book production by the seventeenth century.[27] This model, which Piper describes as the “equivalent in engraving of the sculpted memorial bust in its niche,” would be repeated formulaically for the next two hundred years.[28] The portrayal of portraits in print, with its potential for replication, changed the dynamics of that subgenre of portraiture.[29] While a painted portrait existed in a single copy, a printed portrait was reproduced hundreds of times, substantially increasing its likelihood of survival. The function of the printed portrait was consequently altered; instead of hanging a single copy of the subject in a prominent location, the new goal was to have one’s portrait in as many English households as possible. Additionally, the technology of engraving allowed one to have multiple portraits taken in a single lifetime. It thus became expected that a portrait would represent as recent a depiction as possible.[30]

The frontispiece portrait was utilized by various figures: authors, poets, translators of classical literature, medical professionals,[31] religious figures, and others. Because the inclusion of an additional copperplate engraving raised the price of the book, frontispiece portraits were usually limited to the works of established authors and printers who could afford the extra investment and could depend upon readers’ willingness to pay more for the book.[32] The frontispiece portrait was an important way in which an author could try to fashion his own image and place in society. These portraits often exhibit a high degree of self-composure, as the subject tries to create an image of a person worthy of the viewer’s respect.[33] Such portraits exist in the interface between art and social life, and there is thus a pressure to conform to social norms, exposing only those features that will make a good impression.[34] Specifically for poets, authors, or other creative thinkers, “looking the part” could be crucial to one’s success in being taken as such by others.[35] Images of poets had become public desiderata for domestic consumption and thus almost necessary for a poet’s success.[36] The fact that artwork tends to outlive both its makers and its subjects means that portraits could, and did, affect the image of the author even after his death;[37] the commissioning of a portrait could lead to the creation of a visible identity by which someone would be known for many future generations.[38]

This self-fashioning was quite conscious on the part of Ogilby. While he was unqualified by birth, nature, or activity to become a courtier, he put great efforts into his upward mobility and the maintenance of the court connections he had cultivated. He thus cared deeply about developing his image as both a statesman and a lettered poet, with all the resulting associations and respect. Thomas Hobbes, the next author to publish an English translation of Homer, included a frontispiece portrait as well.[39] Alexander Pope, who translated Homer into English in the eighteenth century, was also quite conscious about his own image; he had 66 portraits of himself produced during his lifetime. In this case, Pope’s impulse to have himself portrayed was intensified by the need to project an image worthy of the mind and spirit embodied in his poetry, in contrast to the reality of his sickly and deformed body. This effort was a highly controlled projection of his person into posterity.[40]

 

Ogilby and His Portraits

Ogilby commissioned four frontispiece portraits throughout his publishing career. The first [see Figure 1] was produced in 1649 by William Marshall, the most prolific engraver of the Caroline era,[41] and included in Ogilby’s first printed work, his translation of Virgil.[42] In the portrait, Ogilby is depicted half-length framed within an oval. He has long hair and is wearing a cap and gown. In his right hand he holds a medallion, upon which is a wreathed bust portrait of Virgil and the inscription “P.V.,” for “Publius Virgilius.” Beneath the portrait is a suspended curtain with the words “JOHANNES OGILVIUS.” in larger script and “Guil. Marshall fecit 1649.” beneath it in smaller script. Ogilby’s expression is determined, perhaps an indication of his intention to work hard to succeed in this new business venture.[43] The setting of the portrait itself is hardly remarkable. Ogilby is portraying himself as a poet or scholar, wearing the requisite robes, with his upper body surrounded by the traditional frame. Ogilby would only use this portrait as a frontispiece for the volume for which it had originally been created.

A comparison between Ogilby’s first portrait and the one included on the title page of Thomas Hobbes’ translation of Homer [see Figure 2], published in 1677, reveals some striking similarities.[44] Both authors are facing right, wearing similar gowns with protruding collars, with shoulder-length hair. Hobbes’ expression also seems serious and determined. They both exude a scholarly persona. However, there is one striking difference between the two title pages. Whereas Ogilby is the sole figure depicted in the frontispiece, Hobbes appears in a small medallion at the bottom of the page, with a bust of Homer at the top and two armed men on either side of the title. By using this format, Hobbes was conforming to the convention of the day. Where a book was the work of two authors, often in the case of a translation, it was common to include a portrait of both; the image of the original author would be at the top and that of the translator at the bottom.[45] Ogilby, however, seems to be taking significantly more credit for the work. This sentiment becomes much more explicit in his next portrait.

Ogilby commissioned a new frontispiece portrait for his second work, the translation of Aesop’s Fables printed in 1651 in folio with illustrations.[46] Richard Gaywood, the most prolific etcher of his day, made this second portrait.[47] In the portrait [see Figure 3], a sculpted bust of Ogilby is turned to the left and looks out at the viewer. Ogilby is wearing a cap and cloak, with shoulder-length hair. Beneath the platform upon which the bust is resting, a cartouche with an inscription reads: “The Fables of Æsop ½ Paraphras’d in Vers and adornd ½ with Sculpture ½by Iohn Ogilby.” This is the most unusual of Ogilby’s portraits, as it portrays him as a bust with a head and upper torso but without arms. This is in contrast to the other three, where he is depicted at half-length as a live person, rather than a sculpted bust. Ogilby would use this frontispiece portrait again in a later printing of Aesop’s Fables.[48]

The depiction of Ogilby in the form of a sculpted bust sends a clear message about the role he envisioned for himself in this project. Humanists collected busts of classical writers and thinkers and displayed them in their libraries, in imitation of the parallel Roman practice; Pliny explains that the display of such busts honors those whose “immortal spirits” talk to the readers in the library.[49] By depicting himself in the form of a bust, Ogilby is declaring himself one of the great writers worthy of gracing the libraries of noblemen and scholars. Although one could see Ogilby as merely the translator of this work, he is clearly stating, through this portrait, that he claims full ownership over this creative production.

For Ogilby’s third publication, the beautiful folio edition of Virgil with illustrations published in 1654, he commissioned yet another frontispiece portrait [see Figure 4].[50] This print was made by William Faithorne, whom Arthur Mayger Hind has called “the first great English portrait engraver.”[51] The engraving was done after an original by Peter Lely, as specified in an inscription within the portrait. While the previous two portraits did not specify if there was an original from which the etching or engraving was made, here it is clear that Ogilby sat for a portrait by Lely.[52]

Lely (1618–80) is often described as the successor of Anthony van Dyck.[53] Van Dyck (1599–1641) was the leading court painter in England during his lifetime, especially during the reign of Charles I. Lely was considered the best portrait painter in England during the Restoration; he would paint the chief men and women of the Restoration world. Lely’s courtly, gentlemanly existence paralleled Van Dyck’s lifestyle as court painter as well. Later in his career, because of the high demand for his portraits, he would only paint the face of the patron; an apprentice would then complete the body of the patron in accordance with a pre-determined design.

In this engraved portrait, Ogilby is depicted in half-length in an oval with long flowing hair reminiscent of a nobleman’s wig. He is wearing a gown, the drapery of which is quite voluminous, obscuring the form of his mid-torso. Beneath the portrait appears a coat of arms, which encloses the crowned lion of Scotland.[54] A panel flanking both sides of the coat of arms bears the inscription “JOHANNES OGILVIUS.” On a panel between the portrait and coat of arms, “P: Lilly Pinxit” and “Guil: Faithorne Sculp” are inscribed. While similar in general format to the Marshall portrait, the impression of its subject is significantly altered. Ogilby looks like a gentleman with flowing drapery, rather than a scholar or a classical author. In the first portrait, Ogilby looked determined; his facial muscles are tense and his eyebrows are furrowed as he looks past the viewer and off into the distance. In the second portrait, his raised eyebrow and sidelong glance almost give an impression of aggression. In contrast, the Faithorne portrait depicts Ogilby with self-assurance and serenity. The figure makes eye contact with the viewer and conveys his confidence in his own self-worth. Through this new portrait, Ogilby has thus re-fashioned his identity, from that of a scholar to that of an aristocrat, employing the most popular courtly artist of the time in order to further this transformation.

The Faithorne portrait was used in the 1654 edition of Virgil, which Ogilby later described in the preface to his atlas Africa, as “a new and taking Beauty, the fairest till then that the English Press ever boasted.”[55] This 1654 edition was also the first time Ogilby used subscriptions in order to finance his publications; the work contained 99 plates, in addition to three preliminary one, making it an expensive volume to produce.[56] This can thus be seen as a time of heightened effort on the part of Ogilby to recreate himself as a gentleman and to cement his relationships with aristocrats who would become patrons of his prints. The portrait was also used in a later edition of Virgil, which Ogilby published in 1668.[57]

The fourth and final frontispiece portrait commissioned by Ogilby [see Figure 5] was also based upon an original portrait drawn by Lely. However, this one was engraved by Pierre Lombart, considered “the finest engraver in England” during the Interregnum years.[58] In the portrait, Ogilby appears half-length, turned to the right, framed within an octagonal border. The same coat of arms appears in the lower part of the frame. A panel below the coat of arms bears the inscription “IOHANNES OGILVIVS.” On a panel between the portrait and coat of arms, “P: Lilly Pinxit” and “P. Lombart sculpsit Londini” are inscribed. Ogilby is again seen with long hair with cascading curls and the flowing drapery of a gown. While similar to the Faithorne portrait in many respects, Ogilby’s gaze is slightly different; instead of looking directly at the viewer, he seems to look down and to the left, as if absorbed in thought or contemplation. The long flowing curls are more prominent than in the Faithorne portrait as well. Overall, the impression is still one of a gentleman, gazing out at the viewer with confidence. This portrait was first used in Ogilby’s Latin edition of Virgil in 1658.[59] It was subsequently used in his celebrated volume of Homer’s Iliad, dedicated to the newly restored Charles II.[60] The Lombart edition was also used in Ogilby’s reprint of Aesop’s Fables in 1665.[61]

Finally, there is a painting of Ogilby that has been attributed to Peter Lely [see Figure 6]. The painting, currently in the collection of the Bodleian Library, was acquired by the Library in 1662.[62] The date of completion is not known, though it must have been completed before 1662; it could thus potentially be the basis for one, or both, of the frontispieces by Faithorne and Lombart.[63] This portrait incorporates many of the elements and themes seen in both of those frontispieces. Ogilby looks over his shoulder, meeting the viewer’s gaze with confidence. He is wearing a cap and a flowing gown, and his curls frame his face and fall to his shoulders.

There are many elements about Ogilby’s portraits that are unknown: the exact circumstances of the attributed Lely portrait; whether there was another painted portrait that has not survived; or why Ogilby commissioned the Lombart portrait, so similar to the Faithorne portrait produced just four years earlier. However, it is clear that Ogilby was, at this point in his career, interested in promoting his image as an aristocrat, rather than as a middle-class scholar.

 

Conclusion

The fact that Ogilby had four separate engraved or etched portraits of himself produced as frontispieces for his printed works is an indication of a man actively concerned with maintaining a certain public image. Aside from the Marshall portrait, each of the portraits was used more than once, often after a gap of a number of years. While there may have been many reasons for Ogilby’s decision to use a specific portrait in each case, the fact that he almost always included a portrait of himself, and not a bust of Homer or a similar image, is indicative of his own perceived relationship to these publications; he clearly thought of himself, as translator, as the true author of these works.[64]

In commissioning his portraits, Ogilby sought out the three printmakers who would dominate the decade of the Interregnum,[65] as well as the most famous court painter of his day. As Ogilby continued to succeed in the printing business, we see the way in which his self-image develops. Earlier in his career, he portrays himself as a scholar and poet, using iconography that signified his importance vis-à-vis the text. The inclusion of extensive glosses to the text also contributed to the creation of his public persona. The glosses and images thus worked together towards a larger project. However, as Ogilby continued to cultivate his courtly connections, he shifted the way in which he was depicted, instead showing himself as an aristocrat. Using a combination of visual sensitivity, court connections, and active self-fashioning, Ogilby was thus able to ensure his own success in the book trade while simultaneously contributing towards his own social mobility.

 

Appendix: Images

Figure 1: Marshall, William, Portrait of John Ogilby, 1649, engraving, The New-berry Library, Chicago. In The Works of Publius Vrgilius Maro, translated by John Ogilby. London: Printed by Thomas Maxey for Andrew Crook, 1649. Photo courtesy of the Newberry Library, Chi-cago, Call #Y672.V8764.

Figure 1: Marshall, William, Portrait of John Ogilby, 1649, engraving, The New-berry Library, Chicago. In The Works of Publius Vrgilius Maro, translated by John Ogilby. London: Printed by Thomas Maxey for Andrew Crook, 1649. Photo courtesy of the Newberry Library, Chi-cago, Call #Y672.V8764. Click to enlarge.

Figure 2: Title Page, 1677, etching and engraving, Wellcome Library, London. In The Works of Homer, trans-lated by Thomas Hobbes. London: Printed by W. Crooke, 1677. Well-come Images V0002800.

Figure 2: Title Page, 1677, etching and engraving, Wellcome Library, London. In The Works of Homer, trans-lated by Thomas Hobbes. London: Printed by W. Crooke, 1677. Well-come Images V0002800. Click to enlarge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3: Gaywood, Richard, Title Page, 1651, etching, National Portrait Gallery, London. In The Fables of Æsop, translated by John Ogilby. London: Printed by Thomas Warren for Andrew Crook, 1651. NPG D30175.

Figure 3: Gaywood, Richard, Title Page, 1651, etching, National Portrait Gallery, London. In The Fables of Æsop, translated by John Ogilby. London: Printed by Thomas Warren for Andrew Crook, 1651. NPG D30175. Click to enlarge.

Figure 4: Faithorne, William, Portrait of John Ogilby, after Peter Lely, 1654, en-graving, National Portrait Gallery, Lon-don. In The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro, translated by John Ogilby. Lon-don: Printed by Thomas Warren for the author, 1654. NPG D19472.

Figure 4: Faithorne, William, Portrait of John Ogilby, after Peter Lely, 1654, en-graving, National Portrait Gallery, Lon-don. In The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro, translated by John Ogilby. Lon-don: Printed by Thomas Warren for the author, 1654. NPG D19472. Click to enlarge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 5: Lombart, Pierre, Portrait of John Ogilby, after Peter Lely, 1658, en-graving, National Portrait Gallery, Lon-don. In Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera, by John Ogilby. London: Printed by Thom-as Roycroft, 1658. NPG D5387.

Figure 5: Lombart, Pierre, Portrait of John Ogilby, after Peter Lely, 1658, en-graving, National Portrait Gallery, Lon-don. In Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera, by John Ogilby. London: Printed by Thom-as Roycroft, 1658. NPG D5387. Click to enlarge.

Figure 6: Lely, Peter, Portrait of John Ogil-by, oil on canvas, Bodleian Library, Lon-don, 1662. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lely_-_Ogilby.jpg. Accessed August 16, 2015.

Figure 6: Lely, Peter, Portrait of John Ogil-by, oil on canvas, Bodleian Library, Lon-don, 1662. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lely_-_Ogilby.jpg. Accessed August 16, 2015. Click to enlarge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keywords: Aesop, Bible, book trade, subscription, George Chapman, King Charles II, Geoffrey Chaucer, University of Chicago, Francis Clein, Margery Corbett, John Crook, Joanne Ludovico De la Cerda, Abraham von Diepenbeeck, England, London, engravings, etching, William Faithorne, France, Paris, French, Richard Gaywood, genre, Greek, Arthur Mayger Hind, Thomas Hobbes, Wenceslaus Hollar, illustration, Ireland, Irish, Irish Rebellion of 1641, Thomas Johnson, Latin, Peter Lely, Ronald Lightbown, Pierre Lombart, Michele de Marolloes, William Marshall, Netherlands, John Ogilby, paratext, annotation, commentary, frontispiece, prefatory material, patron, David Piper, Pliny the Elder, Alexander Pope, Restoration of 1660, Scotland, Socrates, Spain, Spanish, Anthony Van Dyck, Virgil, Thomas Wentworth-1st Earl of Strafford, women, woodcuts

 

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Barchas, Janine. “Prefiguring Genre: Frontispiece Portraits from ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ to ‘Millenium Hall.’” Studies in the Novel 30, no. 2 (1998): 260–86.

Brilliant, Richard. Portraiture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991.

Chapman, George, ed. and trans. The Whole Works of Homer; Prince of Poetts in His Iliads, and Odysses. Translated according to the Greeke. London: Printed by Richard Field and William Jaggard for Nathaniell Butter, 1616.

Corbett, Margery, and Ronald Lightbown. The Comely Frontispiece: The Emblematic Title-Page in England, 1550–1660. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979.

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Bodleian Library. Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2004.

Grafton, Anthony. “The Humanist as Reader.” In A History of Reading in the West, edited by Guglielmo Cavallo, Roger Chartier, and Lydia G. Cochrane, 179–212. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999.

Griffiths, Antony, and Robert A. Gerard. The Print in Stuart Britain, 1603–1689. London: British Museum Press, 1998.

Hind, Arthur Mayger. A History of Engraving & Etching: From the 15th Century to the Year 1914; Being the Third and Fully Revised Edition of “a Short History of Engraving and Etching.” Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923.

Hind, Arthur Mayger, Margery Corbett, and Michael Norton. Engraving in England in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries: A Descriptive Catalogue with Introductions. 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952.

Hobbes, Thomas, trans. The Iliads and Odysses of Homer Translated out of Greek into English. London: Printed for Will. Crook, 1677.

Millar, Oliver, and Peter Lely. Sir Peter Lely, 1618–1680: Exhibition at 15 Carlton House Terrace, London Sw1. London: National Portrait Gallery, 1978.

Most, Glenn W., and Alice Schreyer, eds. Homer in Print: A Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana at the University of Chicago Library. Chicago: University of Chicago Library, 2013.

Ogilby, John. Africa. London: Printed by Tho. Johnson for the Author, 1670.

—, ed. and trans. The Fables of Æsop Paraphras’d in Verse, and Adorn’d with Sculpture. London: Printed by Thomas Warren for Andrew Crook, 1651.

—, ed. and trans. The Fables of Æsop Paraphras’d in Verse Adorn’d with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations. London: Printed by Thomas Roycroft, for the author, 1665.

—, ed. and trans. Homer His Iliads Translated, Adorn’d with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations. London: Printed by Thomas Roycroft, 1660.

—, ed. and trans. Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera per Johannem Ogilvium Edita et Sculpturis AEneis Adornata. London: Thomas Roycroft, 1658.

—, ed. and trans. The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro. London: Printed by Thomas Maxey for Andrew Crook, 1649.

—, ed. and trans. The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro Translated, Adorn’d with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations. London: Printed by Thomas Warren for the author, 1654.

—, ed. and trans. The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro Translated, Adorned with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations. 2nd ed. London: Printed by Thomas Roycroft for the author, 1668.

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Piper, David. The Image of the Poet: British Poets and Their Portraits. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982.

Pointon, Marcia R. Portrayal and the Search for Identity. London: Reaktion Books, 2013.

Schuchard, Margret. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Works of John Ogilby and William Morgan. Bern: Herbert Lang, 1975.

van Eerde, Katharine S. John Ogilby and the Taste of His Times. Kent: Dawson, 1976.

Wood, Christopher S. Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Woolfson, Jonathan, and Andrew Gregory. “Aspects of Collecting in Renaissance Padua: A Bust of Socrates for Niccolò Leonico Tomeo.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 58 (1995): 252–65.


  1. Katharine S. van Eerde, John Ogilby and the Taste of His Times (Kent: Dawson, 1976), 11.
  2. Ibid., 17–19.
  3. Ibid., 23–25.
  4. See George Elliot’s “Ogilby and the Odyssey” in this volume for a fuller biography of Ogilby and an exploration of his use of subscriptions.
  5. Antony Griffiths and Robert A. Gerard, The Print in Stuart Britain, 16031689 (London: British Museum Press, 1998), 184.
  6. Van Eerde, John Ogilby and the Taste of His Times, 71.
  7. See Janine Barchas, “Prefiguring Genre: Frontispiece Portraits from ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ to ‘Millenium Hall,’” Studies in the Novel 30, no. 2 (1998): 260.
  8. Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 30.  
  9. See Anthony Grafton, “The Humanist as Reader,” in A History of Reading in the West, ed. Guglielmo Cavallo, Roger Chartier, and Lydia G. Cochrane (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999), 179–212 for a discussion of various types of reading done by humanists.
  10. While the size and format can indicate the intended use of a book, it obviously does not ensure that the book was actually used that way, and often the availability of books could be more relevant in determining use than format. However, the intention of the author or publisher can certainly be inferred from such decisions.
  11. The only exception was his edition of Virgil published in 1658 in Latin.
  12. Glenn W. Most and Alice Schreyer, eds., Homer in Print: A Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana at the University of Chicago Library (Chicago: University of Chicago Library, 2013), 114.
  13. John Ogilby, ed. and trans., The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro (London: Printed by Thomas Maxey for Andrew Crook, 1649).
  14. John Ogilby, ed. and trans., The Fables of Æsop Paraphras’d in Verse, and Adorn’d with Sculpture (London: Printed by Thomas Warren for Andrew Crook, 1651).
  15. Ibid., Frontispiece. Reproduced and transcribed in Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 185.
  16. Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 24, 186. I would also like to thank Hilary Barker for taking time to explain the economic and material factors of this dynamic.
  17. See ibid., 186, 189, and 196 for three quotations expressing this sentiment.
  18. Ibid., 185–87.
  19. Ibid., 184. See John Ogilby, ed. and trans., The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro Translated, Adorn’d with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations (London: Printed by Thomas Warren for the author, 1654).
  20. For example, the emphasis is on the Virgilian text in Ogilby’s edition, whereas in de la Cerda’s edition, the commentary overshadowed the text both visually and quantitatively. See van Eerde, John Ogilby and the Taste of His Times, 36.
  21. David Piper, The Image of the Poet: British Poets and Their Portraits (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 8, 20.
  22. Margery Corbett and Ronald Lightbown, The Comely Frontispiece: The Emblematic Title-Page in England, 1550–1660 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979), 43.
  23. Piper, Image of the Poet, 9.
  24. Ibid., 11.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Ibid., 17. See George Chapman, ed. and trans., The Whole Works of Homer; Prince of Poetts in His Iliads, and Odysses. Translated according to the Greeke (London: Printed by Richard Field and William Jaggard for Nathaniell Butter, 1616).
  27. Barchas, “Prefiguring Genre,” 261.
  28. Piper, Image of the Poet, 36.
  29. See Christopher S. Wood, Forgery, Replica, Fiction: Temporalities of German Renaissance Art (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), especially chapter 5 on replicas, for a discussion of the changing role of images in the age of reproduction technology. He specifically explores the referential and representational aspects of images in this era.
  30. Corbett and Lightbown, Comely Frontispiece, 44.
  31. Many medical works had portraits of their authors. The importance of “issues of dignity and status” in the field of anatomy lent itself to the weight given to individual doctors and their desire to invoke their status in the publication of their works. See Andrew Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010), 306.
  32. Barchas, “Prefiguring Genre,” 261.
  33. Richard Brilliant, Portraiture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), 10.
  34. Ibid., 11.
  35. Ibid., 121.
  36. Piper, Image of the Poet, 55.
  37. See Marcia R. Pointon, Portrayal and the Search for Identity (London: Reaktion Books, 2013), 20.
  38. Brilliant, Portraiture, 14.
  39. Thomas Hobbes, trans., The Iliads and Odysses of Homer Translated out of Greek into English (London: Printed for Will. Crook, 1677).
  40. Piper, Image of the Poet, 57–58.
  41. Marshall was active between the years 1617 and 1650, when he disappears from the record. Hind catalogues 254 prints produced by Marshall, rendering him the most prolific engraver of the Caroline era. Half of his prints are portraits, while the rest are mainly title pages. See Arthur Mayger Hind, Margery Corbett, and Michael Norton, Engraving in England in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries: A Descriptive Catalogue with Introductions, vol. 3 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964), 102.; Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 163.
  42. See Ogilby, The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro, 1649. I examined the copy in the collection of the Newberry Library.
  43. Opposite this portrait is another engraved scene, featuring a wreathed bust of Virgil in the center. The bust in the medallion is clearly intended to reference the larger bust on the opposing page.
  44. Hobbes, The Iliads and Odysses of Homer.
  45. Corbett and Lightbown, Comely Frontispiece, 43.
  46. Ogilby, The Fables of Æsop Paraphras’d in Verse, and Adorn’d with Sculpture.
  47. Gaywood, active between the years 1644 and 1668, was the principal supplier of portrait etchings (as opposed to engravings) to the London book trade. See Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 169. It is not entirely clear to me why Ogilby would have commissioned all of the illustrations for the volume in engraving, while his own portrait was an etching. Perhaps he specifically wanted a portrait by Gaywood, despite the fact that it was not an engraving.
  48. Because the title of the work was embedded within the portrait, it would have been quite difficult to reuse the image for a different title. However, he was able to use it for a later printing of the same work in 1672. He used the Lombart portrait, to be discussed below, in his 1665 edition of Aesop’s Fables. It is unclear to me why he would have used the Gaywood portrait in the 1672 edition but not the 1665 edition.
  49. Jonathan Woolfson and Andrew Gregory, “Aspects of Collecting in Renaissance Padua: A Bust of Socrates for Niccolò Leonico Tomeo,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 58 (1995): 256–57. Quotation from Pliny’s Natural History taken from ibid.
  50. Ogilby, The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro, 1654.
  51. Faithorne, who lived from circa 1620 to 1691, served in the Royalist army, was captured and held prisoner in London, and was exiled to Paris. His artistic style was influenced by this time in Paris. He returned to London in 1652 and continued to work as an engraver, specializing in portraits. See Arthur Mayger Hind, A History of Engraving & Etching: From the 15th Century to the Year 1914; Being the Third and Fully Revised Edition of “a Short History of Engraving and Etching” (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1923), 152–54; Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 125–26.
  52. We do not know any further information about the details or circumstances of Lely’s portrait of Ogilby. I will discuss a portrait of Ogilby attributed to Lely, which may or may not be the basis of this as well as the following engraving, below.  
  53. This was true both in style as well as in formal position: he was granted by the king an annual pension of 200 pounds as Principal Painter “as formerly to Sr. Vandyke.” See Oliver Millar and Peter Lely, Sir Peter Lely, 1618–1680: Exhibition at 15 Carlton House Terrace, London Sw1 (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1978), 15.
  54. Van Eerde, John Ogilby and the Taste of His Times, 36.
  55. John Ogilby, Africa (London: Printed by Tho. Johnson for the Author, 1670), C1.
  56. Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 186.
  57. John Ogilby, ed. and trans., The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro Translated, Adorned with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations, 2nd ed. (London: Printed by Thomas Roycroft for the author, 1668).
  58. Lombart was a Frenchman who lived from 1613 to 1682. His main employment was by Ogilby and other book publishers. See Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 166, 178.
  59. John Ogilby, ed., Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera per Johannem Ogilvium Edita et Sculpturis AEneis Adornata (London: Thomas Roycroft, 1658).
  60. John Ogilby, ed. and trans., Homer His Iliads Translated, Adorn’d with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations (London: Printed by Thomas Roycroft, 1660). I examined the copy owned by the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago’s copy of its companion volume of the Odyssey, printed in 1655, does not contain a portrait of Ogilby, instead portraying Odysseus’s return to Ithaca, set within a large architectural frame. This could be because the two were seen as a pair, and presumably a single patron would have little need for two portraits of Ogilby. However, Schuchard, in her descriptive bibliography of Ogilby’s works, writes that the 1665 Odyssey did in fact include the Lombart portrait. See Margret Schuchard, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Works of John Ogilby and William Morgan (Bern: Herbert Lang, 1975), 50.
  61. John Ogilby, ed. and trans., The Fables of Æsop Paraphras’d in Verse Adorn’d with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations (London: Printed by Thomas Roycroft, for the author, 1665).
  62. Kenneth Garlick and Rachael Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the Bodleian Library (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 2004), 241.
  63. The Lombart engraving resembles the painting more than the Faithorne does, especially regarding the angle of Ogilby’s torso. In the painting, Ogilby looks over his shoulder, while in the Faithorne portrait, the viewer has an almost frontal view of Ogilby’s torso. Ogilby’s torso is angled to the right in the Lombart engraving, though not quite as much as in the painting. The portrait’s entry in the Bodleian Library’s catalogue notes that the attribution to Lely is “not entirely convincing;” see Garlick and Poole, Catalogues of Portraits in the Bodleian Library, 241. Perhaps the attribution was based upon the fact that the painting resembles the Lombart engraving, which is in fact based upon a portrait by Lely, so it was assumed that this was the original Lely that was being referenced. I would like to thank Dana Josephson, Conservator of the Portraits Collection at the Bodleian Library, for his help with this portrait.
  64. Interestingly, he did not include a portrait of himself in the bible he published in 1660. Apparently this was a genre in which portraits were not considered acceptable.
  65. Griffiths and Gerard, Print in Stuart Britain, 166.