VISSCHER, Roemer
(b. 1547, Amsterdam, d. 1620, Amsterdam)

Emblem from Sinnepoppen

1614
Engraving
Universiteits-Bibliotheek, Amsterdam

Roemer Visscher was a poet and moralist of the early Dutch Renaissance. He was a central figure of the cultural scene in Amsterdam. He was a specialist in the epigram, but he also wrote emblemata (book of emblems, a genre in which pictures are accompanied by one or two rhyming sentences). An example of the emblemata is his Sinnepoppen (Meaningful Little Figures).

The Sinnepoppen is a work infused with patriotic overtones. The picture shows one of the emblems contained therein, inscribed "Ad pompam tantum" (only fitting for pomp). It depicts a young buffoon wearing pantaloons of sufficiently exaggerated breadth to impair his gait.