JF Ptak Science Books Post 1650 (Part of a series on the History of Blank, Empty and Missing Things.]
[I wrote earlier in this blog on maps of the Garden of Eden, here.]
This island is Island Earth, the chuchified beginnings of humanity, showing the creation of Woman from the rib of a sleeping Adam. I'm not referring to the 500-odd place names in the U.S. identified as "Eden": there are cities, towns, and villages named "Eden", plus valleys, creeks, lakes, schools, shopping centers, malls, plazas, forests, and cemeteries--though I must say the though of an "Eden Cemetery" does sound appealing. I'm talking about the Eden of Genesis--though Eden hardly makes an appearance anywhere else in the Bible. Nor for that matter does the Fall of Man. I'm also not talking about earlier references to Eden-like places, like Heden of the Persians, or the "Islands of the Blessed"/Elysium of the Greeks, or any of the other earlier versions of a paradise (some complete with a tree of knowledge/life guarded by a serpent/dragon) from which the Genesis version must surely have drawn. This is strictly Old Testament, here.
It is interesting that this image is a suggestion of the anatomical event, because Adam is shown whole and unmolested--I've seen many versions of this image showing Eve actually emerging from an opening in Adam's side, but the artist here is content enough with the suggestion of the bio-event.
[Source: Jac. Phil. Foresti Bergomensis, SUpplementum supplementi chronicarum ab ipso mundi exordio...printed in VEnice, by G. de Rusconibus, 1510. See the full image in the continue reading section.]
Eden seems set adrift in the sea of everything, floating there while the big change comes over Adam. (It is also fun to note that the hallow of the creator is given a three-dimensional affectation--perhaps later we'll deal with the various shapes of hallos.) Eden is supposed the perfect circle, held afloat by the great waters.
Here's another version, keeping somewhat within the Island Earth concept, but showing Eve emerging from a dourly distracted Adam--definitely this time connected to Adam in some way, though without any open cut. (This image is from the great Bible of Anton Koberger, 1493. Picture source, here.)
Here's nother image of the Garden of Eden as rondo, from Ludolphus de Saxonia (a Dominican for many years and a 14th c figure), Thoeck vanden leven ons heern ihesu christi (1487), which was I think the greatest Dutch achievement in the making of books in their history of early printing, century, and in general one of the most beautiful woodblock books ever printed:
Eden is again fortified, this time in stone, with the ornamental drainspouts of the four rivers making their exit in the foreground. The glory of Eden abounds, but it is temptation that is presented them.
Another version of Eden, this time in a rectangular configuration, is seen in this 17th c engraving, finding Eden on the map on lower Mesopotamia.
There are other versions of Round THings that abound in Renaissance images, and we'll get to them later, along with the depictions of caves, islands, and roads/paths meandering into infinity--those will come in just a little bit.