Having fun with the chivalric ideal: a burlesque mock-epic based on the *Matter of France* by Luigi Pulci

Morgante by Luigi Pulci

Florence (Italy) — Last quater of 15th century

Morgante by Luigi Pulci

Morgante by Luigi Pulci

Florence (Italy) — Last quater of 15th century

  1. Luigi Pulci (1432-84) was commissioned by Lucrezia Tornabuoni (1427-1482), mother of Lorenzo de’ Medici (1449-92)

  2. His story is of a giant converted to Christianity by the Paladin Orlando, who he then accompanies on adventures

  3. The splendid work was style-forming and helped to establish a common form for mock-heroics

Morgante by Luigi Pulci

incunabolo ac cf29 Accademia Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti (Modena, Italy)
Alternative Titles:
  • Der Morgante von Luigi Pulci
  • Morgante Maggiore
  • Greater Morgante
  • Il Morgante di Luigi Pulci
Morgante by Luigi Pulci – incunabolo ac cf29 – Accademia Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti (Modena, Italy)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

A refreshing blend of French chivalric material and the humor of the streets of Florence: Morgante by Luigi Pulci. This milestone of Renaissance literature takes a satirical approach to the kind of chivalric epics that were popular at the time. Although set during the reign of the Emperor Charlemagne, this tale offers wonderful insight into the culture and daily life of the late 15th century.

Morgante by Luigi Pulci

A giant is converted to Christianity by the Paladin Orlando and then follows him on various strange and comical adventures: such is the plot of one of the greatest epics of the Italian Renaissance: Morgante by Luigi Pulci (1432-84), is named after this giant. It is a burlesque mock-epic based on the Matter of France, a body of legends and literature associated with the history of France that is also known as the Carolingian Cycle. It first appeared in 1478, but this version is now lost, but it appeared in its complete form in 1483, has been preserved and is presented here. It consists of 28 cantos, 30,080 lines, and is highly varied both with regard to language, which ranges from basic to refined, and structure, which is so irregular as to be chaotic. Pulci’s frequent use of ottava rima stanzas, composed of eight 11-syllable lines, helped to establish it as a common form for mock-heroics. The incunabulum (pre-1500 printed book) was commissioned by Lucrezia Tornabuoni (1427-1482), wife of Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici (1416-69) and mother to Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-92) in addition to being an accomplished writer and influential political advisor during the reigns of both her husband and son. Luigi Pulci was born in Florence and enjoyed the patronage of the Medici family, even going on diplomatic missions for Lorenzo de’ Medici, so it is no surprise that he created this work at Lucrezia’s behest.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Der Morgante von Luigi Pulci
Morgante Maggiore
Greater Morgante
Il Morgante di Luigi Pulci
Size / Format
268 pages / 26.0 x 20 cm
Date
Last quater of 15th century
Language
Illustrations
Some xylographic initials; interesting watermarks: hunting horn, crouched beast, cross within half-circle with figure
Content
Mock-heroic poem of chivalry

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Morgante by Luigi Pulci“

Il Morgante di Luigi Pulci
Morgante by Luigi Pulci – incunabolo ac cf29 – Accademia Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti (Modena, Italy)
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Il Morgante di Luigi Pulci

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2016
Limited Edition
10
Binding
Brown leather with gold stamping.
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