The Trevelyon Miscellany: A Quest for Order

Word & Image:
The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608

on exhibit January 23 - May 22, 2004

A Quest for Order

Trevelyon's seventy-page series on the early rulers of Britain starts with Brutus, the ancient Trojan and supposed founder of "Brutane," and continues over 2,000 years to Harold, last of the Saxon kings. The obvious visual repetition and re-combination makes the point that these are not portraits of individuals, but a continuous, orderly chain of history. Only the great King Arthur merits his own page, with an appropriately Protestant focus on his exploits against Rome.

Thomas Trevelyon, Miscellany, fol. 71r (Brutus and Locrinus)

Thomas Trevelyon
Miscellany, fol. 71r,
(Brutus and Locrinus)

Thomas Trevelyon, Miscellany, fol. 74v (Gurgustus and Sicilius)

Thomas Trevelyon
Miscellany, fol. 74v,
(Gurgustus and Sicilius)

Thomas Trevelyon, Miscellany, fol. 103v (Edgar and Ethelred)

Thomas Trevelyon
Miscellany, fol. 103v
(Edgar and Ethelred)

Trevelyon modeled his rulers on a series of woodcuts published by Gyles Godet but made one key adjustment: instead of five or six rulers jostling each other in the same cramped picture space, he provided self-contained frames for everyone. Thus Trevelyon brought order to potential chaos, a visual theme throughout the entire Miscellany with its emphatic borders, attention to groups and series, and recurring stock figures and motifs.

Word and Image: The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608
Exhibition Highlights

Thomas Trevelyon: the man and his sources | History and Religion | Calendars and Calculations | Memento Mori | Proverbs | The Old Testament | Lettering | A Quest for Order | Women | Astronomy | Personifications | Embroidery

Exhibition Intro | Visiting the Folger

This page updated March 30, 2004