The Art Cabinet

Book Title: Het leerzaam huisraad : vertoond in vyftig konstige figuuren, met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen / door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Art Cabinet

Scripture Reference:

Description: While people are fascinated with the unusual and rare objects, such are not worthy of their devotion (Proverbs 23:5). Better it is to devote oneself to virtue and store it up in the heart. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649–1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem and wrote the accompanying poem.

Motto: Nuts without kernel.

The Heart is the true Cabinet,
To be filled with Wisdom,
With Rarities, watched by God’s eye,
And not with earthly and worldly junk:
It is what it is, something of this and that
According to everyone’s sensual pleasure,
In which the desire has taken hold,
To love that item like a Treasure.
For what thou dost consider precious,
And showest to thy companions,
Is only ridiculed by Wisdom,
Like child’s play, with empty shells.
What is rightly called Rare,
Except all kinds of Virtue?
To the pleasing delight of those,
Who look for Eternal joy.
Because, Rare, is that of which there is little:
Hence Virtue may indeed be called that;
That is missing among many,
That one must search and ask for.
Whoever then pays attention to his Wealth,
Should seek it, even with pain,
And make a Beloved Cabinet,
Of the good Heart filled with Virtue.

(Translation by Josephine V. Brown, with editorial assistance from William G. Stryker).

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