Papal Pyramid of Snakes

Recently we came across an illustration in the Rijksmuseum’s collection that we couldn’t resist working on. Papal Pyramid is a vertical tower of snakes, formed around a large serpent weaving skyward.

Papal Pyramid Hendrick Hondius I (1597-1601)

This image was produced at the turn of the 17th century during the Reformation when a schism arose within Western Christianity due to perceptions of abuses and errors within Catholicism. The artist symbolized the Pope as the largest snake, and the other clergy of the Catholic church are depicted as smaller snakes wearing hats or monk-like haircuts (tonsures). A few of the snakes are named, including P. Loiala (Saint Ignatius of Loyola) who co-founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The original image has the Word of God depicted in a thundercloud, and Dutch and Latin inscriptions throughout.

Pope snake
Spitting snake with tonsure hairstyle

We have repaired the image, removed the background and transformed it into an absolutely beautiful vector image of infinite scalability. If you are interested in using this pyramid of snakes for your own personal or commercial projects check it out here.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *