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Statua Danielis Prophetæ – Vintage Woodcut Infographic

If you have been following this site since its infancy (Feb. 2013) then you may know of our fondness for vintage infographics. This may be the most vintage infographic of all time. How vintage is this infographic you ask? So vintage that it is a woodcut. So vintage is was created in 1585! The imagery is just as weird and creepy as you would think from an infographic this old: a three-headed dragon, a Griffin, a lion  (maybe) and something furry with tusks. But my question is what is that thing Daniel is stepping on with his right foot? That is one weird worm.

I admittedly don’t know much about this artwork, but my “research” (Google (re)search) turned up this (source):

The unknown artist who illustrated Lorenz Faust’s 1585 ‘Anatomia Statuae Danielis’ did a brilliant job of locating the rulers of the four great world monarchies on appropriate parts of the statue’s armor. By doing so, the artist gave vivid expression to Daniel’s prophecy and provided students with a splendid memory aid. His accompanying text identified all the rulers listed in the image and explained exactly why their names were placed where they were.

[The Old Testament figure of Daniel revealed that four empires would rule the world by turns. He wrote that a statue of an enormous human appeared in a vision to the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, which serves here as an ingenious graphical device for recording a biblical world chronology. As an example of the layers of detail and symbolism presented, the Persian Darius was assigned to the lungs because the Jews could ‘breathe easy’ during his reign.]

So while you many not learn much from this infographic, it should at least give you a better appreciation of the art of the infographic.

 Anatomia statuae Danielis

We found this lovely piece of art at The New Atlantis. and you can also find a really large image of it here. And more information about its history at Princeton’s library.

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