Like Renaissance panel paintings: Petrarch's "Triumphs" as a masterpiece of illumination

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

Florence (Italy) — Mid 15th century

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

Florence (Italy) — Mid 15th century

  1. Petrarch’s poem on the triumphs of good and beauty was one of the most popular works of the Renaissance

  2. This specimen was inconceivably beautifully designed by a Florentine illuminator in the 15th century

  3. Apollonia di Giovanni di Tommaso (1414-65) modeled the book's decor on the painting of the Italian Renaissance

Francesco Petrarca, I Trionfi

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

Triumphus Mortis: Triumph of Death

The personification of Death stands atop a column adorned with skulls and bat wings in an elaborate triumphal chariot drawn by two black draft horses, precisely the kind used in funerary processions. Instead of flowers, his Via Triumphalis is strewn with the corpses of proud people from across history including emperors, popes, and great warriors. Although Petrarch only ascribes an actual triumphal chariot to Love, most illustrators chose to apply the device to all of the Trionfi.

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

Alternative Titles:
  • Triunfos de Petrarca
  • Il Trionfi di Francesco Petrarca
  • Petrarch's Triumphs
  • Les Triomphes de Petrarque
  • Francesco Petrarca, I Trionfi
  • Petrarca: Triumphe
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Trionfi is a poem by the famous Italian lyricist Francesco Petrarca. This poem was illustrated in an inconceivably beautifully designed codex by a Florentine illuminator in the 15th century. The work contains miniature scenes that are the equivalent of great Renaissance panel paintings in their quality and is elaborately embellished and adorned with marginal decorations ennobled with gold.

Petrarca: Trionfi

The poetry of Francesco Petrarca belongs among the most significant examples of Italian literature and was a role model for the love poetry of countless famous poets worldwide. The Triumphs, whose Italian name reads Trionfi, are a famous example of the poetry of Petrarch. His tale of the Triumphs particularly shows its advantage in the so-called Florentine Codex. The extravagant illuminated codex contains miniatures and marginal decorations of incomparable quality. It comprises a Renaissance artwork of inconceivable quality.

Petrarch’s Work

Francesco Petrarca was an Italian poet and historian. He is considered to be a founder of Renaissance humanism and, along with Dante Alighieri and Boccaccio, one of the most important representatives of early Italian literature. The term Petrarchism comes from his names, which designated a widespread school of thought within European love poetry up to the 17th century. His works influenced world literature over the centuries. The Trionfi, one of the most popular poems worldwide, are a tale of the triumph of the good and the beautiful. Six triumph were sung about, the triumph of love, of chastity, of fame, of time, the triumph of death over time, and the triumph of eternity.

Breathtaking Book Decoration

The tale of the Triumphs became an unforgettable masterpiece of 15th century Italian book art through the unbelievably rich and high quality book illustrations. The manuscript contains 23 full-page miniatures and moreover, each page of the book is embellished with heady marginal depictions. The breathtaking miniatures are reminiscent of the painting of the Italian Renaissance, e.g. the panel paintings of Raphael and Botticelli. The extremely rich marginal embellishments are particularly charming. They show an unbelievable variety of patterns. Flowers and plants twine along page margins, in the middle of which depictions of fruits as well as small depictions of people are found in golden frames. The gifted miniaturist Apollonio di Giovanni di Tommaso, one of the most beloved book artists of the Italian Renaissance, is probably responsible for the design of the work. Today the valuable original codex is stored in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Triunfos de Petrarca
Il Trionfi di Francesco Petrarca
Petrarch's Triumphs
Les Triomphes de Petrarque
Francesco Petrarca, I Trionfi
Petrarca: Triumphe
Size / Format
102 pages / 21.7 x 13.7 cm
Date
Mid 15th century
Language
Illustrations
23 full-page miniatures
Artist / School
Francesco Petrarca, I Trionfi

Petrarca: Trionfi – Florence Codex

Triumph of Love

In a dream, the poet imagines that Love, personified by a naked and winged young man armed with a bow, is drawn by four white horses on a fiery triumphal chariot. He is followed by the multitudes of those conquered by Love including various figures from history, literature, mythology, the Bible, and various ancient poets and medieval troubadours as they proceed to the island of Cyprus, where Venus was born.

Aside from his legions of conquests, Love is accompanied by four cupids who point their bows and arrows in all directions as well as hybrid creatures with human heads and winged bodies. The frame is as elaborate as the primary image and consists of a colorful, gilded tendril border filled with birds, squirrels, cherubs, and six medallion miniatures.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex“

Francesco Petrarca, I Trionfi
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
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Francesco Petrarca, I Trionfi

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
ArtCodex – Modena, 2010
Limited Edition
999
Binding
Leather
Commentary
1 volume (196 pages) by Ida Giovanna Rao
Language: Italian
More Information
23 carat fine gold on CartaPergamena
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