In a future Highbrow installment, I will review the painting in detail and consider its various symbolic figures.
In the meantime, I want to describe a small volume that Terrance showed me, dating from 1651. It combines two works of significance to students of John Milton and 16th century English history. The first text contained in the small volume is Claudius Salmasius's Defensio Regia ("Defense of Kingship"), which was published in May of 1649. In 1650, Latin Secretary John Milton was ordered by the Council of State to answer Salmasius, and the result was Milton's Defensio pro populo Anglicano ("Defense of the English People"), published February 24, 1651. I was very happy to be able to examine the volume. Holding this little piece of history was a real joy.
What follows are images of the two title pages, and a photograph of Terrance displaying the small volume.