Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

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

Florence (Italy) β€” Mid 15th century

The triumphs of the good and beautiful in miniatures like Renaissance panel paintings: Petrarch's famous poetic opus magnum in a golden masterpiece of Quattrocento Italian illumination

  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. Apollonio di Giovanni di Tommaso (1414–65) modeled the book's decor on the painting of the Italian Renaissance

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

Facsimile Copy Available!
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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

The Trionfi of Francesco Petrarch (1304–1374) is a literary bestseller of the Renaissance. In it, the famous poet of the Italian Early Renaissance sings of the triumph of love, chastity, and glory, the triumph of time, the triumph of death over time, and the triumph of eternity, thus setting forth his humanistic worldview entirely in the spirit of his time. The Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence preserves one of the most beautiful and precious copies of this opus magnum, masterfully illuminated in the mid-15th century by the talented Florentine illuminator Apollonio di Giovanni (1415–1465) for an unknown patron. Twenty-three ornate miniatures, whose quality is in no way inferior to the great panel paintings of the Renaissance, a lavish use of gold and opulent floral borders make the manuscript a golden masterpiece of the Italian Quattrocento.

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 triumphs that were sung about include, 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.


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

Available facsimile editions:
Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ArtCodex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
ArtCodex – Modena, 2012
Limited Edition: 999 copies
Detail Picture

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

Triumphus Mortis: Triumph of Death

Although Petrarch only ascribes an actual triumphal chariot to Love, most illustrators chose to apply the device to all of the Trionfi, including Death, who is depicted here holding a scythe and standing on top of a black chariot resembling a hearse drawn by two oxen with rings in their noses. Death’s scythe and the head of one of the oxen exceed the red, white, and green frame making it appear as though Death’s triumphal procession will continue off the page.

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ArtCodex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Single Page

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex

Coluccio Salutati

One of the most important political and cultural leaders of Renaissance Florence before the rise of the Medici was Coluccio Salutati (1331–1406). He was a humanist, notary, and served as Chancellor of the Florentine Republic for decades. One of the most celebrated Italian politicians of his day, he was also a scholar and humanist patron with a personal library of more than 800 books.

Salutati is depicted in profile as an elderly man who it slightly hunched forward and holding an open book while three more books lie at his feet, one leaning against the platform on which he stands. Stylishly dressed in red from his cap to his boots, he is dressed in the kind of loose flowing pleated robes that were in style during the late 14th and 15th centuries.

Petrarca: Trionfi - Florence Codex – ArtCodex – ms. Strozzi 174 – Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence, Italy)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Francesco Petrarca, I Trionfi

ArtCodex – Modena, 2012

Publisher: ArtCodex – Modena, 2012
Limited Edition: 999 copies
Binding: Leather
Commentary: 1 volume (196 pages) by Ida Giovanna Rao, Giovanna Lazzi and Ada Labriola
Language: Italian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €€€
(3,000€ - 7,000€)
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