Alicja Bielak, O roli wzroku i obrazu w twórczości medytacyjnej Marcina Hińczy

(On the role of sight and image in meditative works by Marcin Hińcza)

Year of publication: 2017
Page range: 16 (59-74)
Keywords: Marcin Hińcza, meditation,  emblematics, emblemata sacra, iconomystica, affect theory,

Author: Alicja Bielak (University of Warsow)


Marcin Hińcza (1592–1668) was a Jesuit priest and writer, author of five devotional books. He was interested in visual arts and their utility in enlisting the believers during the Counter-Reformation combat with the protestants. The first part of the article presents emblem books of Hińcza (Plęsy Anjołów and Chwała z Krzyża) as an example of the Jesuit literary current of emblemata sacra i.e. emblem books used to meditate the life of Christ (exponents of the current: Jan David, Jerónimo Nadal, Antoine Sucquet). The literary current based on the symbolic theology (theologia symbolica, iconomystica) which – as Jacob Masen had described it – implied that symbolic arts can be used as a support in decrypting the meaning of God’s creation. The second part of the article analyses the persuasive functions of emblematic icons in meditative works of Hińcza in the context of Kwintylian’s concept of affectus (gr. pathos). The emotive influence on the spectator of emblematic icons was an element of the Hińcza’s didactic technique whose aim was to enable his readers the moral recollection during meditative exercises.

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