from The Society for Emblem Studies (Link)
An Emblem is a picture accompanied by a written or printed text. It was developed in the sixteenth century and was extremely popular for more than 200 years. The standard emblematic form consists of a Title, Picture, and Poetic Interpretation, or Inscriptio, Pictura, and Subscriptio. The introduction of pictures to guide the reading of poetic texts was both controversial and cutting edge for the Early Modern Period. Emblem books exercised an enormous influence on literature and the visual arts, and therefore they have long attracted the attention of diverse scholars interested in painting, decorative arts, literature, illustrated books, iconography, symbolism, theories of representation, social and cultural history.
Since the 1980s, many scholars look beyond the emblem and emblem book proper to find emblematic influences in Early Modern Europe. Studies in architecture, science, gender, politics, among others, have utilized what Daniel Russell called "applied emblematics" (Emblematic Structures in Renaissance French Culture, 1995). I have used applied emblematics to explore the emblematic form in the development of anatomy, surgery and medicine in the 16th century. By moving beyond the traditional emblem and emblem book, one can find interesting and exciting places images and printed texts were used to radically change early modern medical and surgical knowledge & practices.