Plantin

This pane depicts the mark of Christopher Plantin. Although considered by many as a Flemish printer, Plantin was a Frenchman by birth. Even though his print shop was located in Antwerp, he obtained many of his type fonts and ideas from France. Plantin became famous for his work as a printer as well as for the magnificent grounds around his establishment, which claimed to be the most beautiful in the world devoted to printing. Plantin’s greatest work was the Biblia Regia (King's Bible), also known as the Plantin Polyglot. He utilized decorations and illustrations extensively,  as can be seen in his device, which dutifully appears in the Plantin Polyglot. The center of the mark shows a compass suspended from the clouds by a hand. The motto “ Labore et Constantia” (By Labor and Constancy) appears on the scroll. The interpretation of the device is given by Plantin himself in the preface of the Plantin Polyglot. The turning point of the compass represents work; the stationary one indicates constancy. This idea is further elaborated upon by the figure of Hercules on the left personifying labor while the feminine figure at the right side of the mark represents steadfastness.

 

The stained glass panel highlighted here once hung in the windows of Kent Library when it was originally installed in 1939. In 1968, the panes were placed into walnut frames and displayed on the mezzanine level of the renovated library until 2007 when they were removed for safety during library remodeling.

 

 

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