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Allegorical frontispiece of the Eikon Basilike depicts the King Charles I of England as a Christian martyr

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Series : Medeival engravings
Year : 1649
Unique ID : eg.00.0002
Edition :  1649

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The heavily allegorical frontispiece of the Eikon Basilike depicts the King Charles I of England as a Christian martyr.It was published on 9 February 1649, ten days after the King was beheaded by Parliament in the aftermath of the English Civil War in 1649. The Latin texts read: IMMOTA, TRIVMPHANS — "Unmoved, Triumphant" (scroll around the rock); Clarior é tenebris — "Brighter through the darkness" (beam from the clouds); CRESCIT SUB PONDERE VIRTVS — "Virtue grows beneath weights" (scroll around the tree); Beatam & Æternam — "Blessed and Eternal" (around the heavenly crown marked GLORIA ("Glory")); meant to be contrasted with: Splendidam & Gravem — "Splendid and Heavy" (around the Crown of England, removed from the King's head and lying on the ground), with the motto Vanitas ("vanity"); and Asperam & Levem — "Bitter and Light", the martyr's crown of thorns held by Charles; contains the motto Gratia ("grace"); Coeli Specto — "I look to Heaven"; IN VERBO TVO SPES MEA — "In Thy Word is My Hope"; Christi Tracto — "I entreat Christ" or "By the word of Christ"; Mundi Calco — "I tread on the world".


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