Sunday, 6 May 2007

A Virgin, naked, on a Dragon sits.

In Response to comments...

Pulchritudo Foeminea-Henry Peacham (1546-1634)
From Minerva Britanna, 1612

A Virgin, naked on a dragon, sits.
One hand outstetch'd a cristall glasse doth show:
The other bears a dart, that deadly hits;
Upon her head a garland white as snow,
Of print and lilies beauty most desir'd,
Were I her painter, should be thus attir'd.

Her nakedness tells ,she needes no art:
Her glass, how we by sight are mov'd to love,
The wounde's unfelt that's given by the dart
At first(though deadly we it after prove)
The Dragon (de)notes love's poison: and the flowers, The frailtie (Ladies) of that pride of yours.

I'm not clever enough to upload it in clearer form...
Blogger lets me select small, medium, large as picture size. The original is much clearer.


  1. If I squint really hard I can just about read it. Where is it from?

  2. That is really cool! Where did you find it?
    All virgins ought to have their own dragon, don't you think?

  3. Minx;
    Answers posted...
    If my learning was greater, I'd be able to confirm or deny that it's Peacham's interpretation of a piece by Ovid.
    Click on the link, the whole book is available online in facsimile., obviously you'd snip the end of the link to get there.
    I have a small stash of very eldely books.
    Not this one though.... But some copies of Acta Eruditorum, from the 1680s, in latin, a History of madagascar in french, same period... A tiny bible, inscribed Anna Harris, her book, 17??, some of my treasures include a crudely rebound Ogilvy Road-Book, 1743, full of ribbon maps of the stage-coach routes, oh, and broadsheet news papers, detailing battles with the french, spanish, americans, footpads hanged, duels fought..
    If I could have anything I ever wanted? A time machine, of course.
    I'm not so sure virgins should have dragons.
    Unicorns, yes.
    Dragons should be the preserve of the altogether more worldly woman.

  4. Then I'm going to my local pet shop and getting myself one!!
    tee hee

  5. Wow, this is unique. I know someone who collects visuals related to the dragon motif who will flip over this. Thanks for a very original find. Do you have links to the photo?

  6. Princess Haiku:

    click on the pic to get better size.


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