Petrarca: Trionfi - Spain Codex

Petrarca: Trionfi - Spain Codex Facsimile Edition

15th century

From the painter of the Medici and Federico da Montefeltro: Petrarch's masterpiece, beautifully illuminated

  1. One of Petrarch's greatest literary works extols the Triumphs of Time, Love, Chastity, Fame, Death, and Eternity

  2. Zanobi Strozzi and Francesco d’Antonio del Chierico collaborated on a gem of 15th century illumination

  3. Del Chierico was employed by the Medici and Federico da Montefeltro (1422–82) among other famous art patrons

Petrarca: Trionfi - Spain Codex

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Petrarca: Trionfi - Spain Codex

Petrarch's Trionfi are among the most popular literary works of the Renaissance. In it, the great poet of the early Italian 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. In a precious 15th century manuscript, the famous miniaturist Francesco d'Antonio del Chierico, with the help of Zanobi Strozzi, embellished this great work of Italian literature and culture with beautiful pictorial décor.

Petrarca: Trionfi

This manuscript, known as the Roman Trionfi Codex, is housed in the Biblioteca dell'Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei e Corsiniana in Rome. Originating from the second-half of the 15th century, it simultaneously reflects the spirit of Humanism during the Italian Renaissance and offers an inside view into the overwhelming artwork of Italian illumination at this time. The man responsible for this pictorial adornment was Francesco d’Antonio del Chierico (1433–1484), one of the greatest miniaturists in Florence during the 15th century.

A Miniaturist for Princes and Monarchs

Del Chierico was employed by the Medici and Federico da Montefeltro inter alia, but also worked for famous patrons outside of Italy. He made the illumination, consisting of six miniatures, wonderful frames, and decorative initials, presumably with the help of Zanobi Strozzi. Bright flowers and exuberant ornamentation fully in the style of the Renaissance adorn the manuscript’s 120 pages, which are additionally furnished with precious gold and presented in a luxurious manuscript.

The Triumph of Good and Beauty

The six full-page primary miniatures of the Triumphs of Time, Love, Chastity, Fame, Death, and Eternity illustrate the Italian text of the Trionfi by Francesco Petrarca (1304–1374). This work by the great poet and humanist of the Early Renaissance stands in the tradition of its time and was also popular and widely-disseminated during the following centuries. The allegorical poem with six chapters on the Triumphs of Good and Beauty originated 1350–74. Strongly autobiographical references are also found next to generally moralizing sections in this significant text.

Doubly Significant

The manuscript at hand simultaneously unites two highpoints on its pages: a significant literary work by one of the most significant representatives of 14th century Italian literature and evidence of the grandiose art of a significant 15th century Florence miniaturist!


Alternative Titles
Triunfos de Petrarca
Il Trionfi di Francesco Petrarca
Petrarch's Triumphs
Les Triomphes de Petrarque
Trionfi. Petrarca
Petrarca. Trionfi
Size / Format
184 pages / 11.5 × 7.5 cm
15th century
7 full-page miniatures, numerous decorative borders and historiated initials
Petrarch's Triumphs
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Cardinal Zelada (1717–1801)

Available facsimile editions:
Petrarca: Trionfi - Spain Codex – Vitr. 22-4 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain) Facsimile Edition
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1996
Limited Edition: 1380 copies
Detail Picture

Petrarca: Trionfi - Spain 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
Single Page

Petrarca: Trionfi - Spain Codex

Triumph of Chastity

Surrounded by a frame of medallion miniatures, fruits, flowers, cherubs, and birds rendered in rich primary colors and gold leaf, this miniature shows the personification of Pudicitia, the goddess of sexual virtue and Petrarch’s second triumph. Like in the rest of the codex, she is portrayed as though partaking in a Roman triumph, the procession enjoyed by victorious generals.

The maiden carries the bow and arrow of Cupid in her right hand as a spoil of war with the god himself handcuffed at her feet. In her left hand she raises a banner with an ermine on a green field – the color of the background symbolizes youth, the animal, innocence, the gold collar that leads to the neck, purity, and the topazes, temperance. Two unicorns draw the carriage.

Petrarca: Trionfi
Facsimile Editions

#1 Petrarca: Trionfi

Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1996

Publisher: Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 1996
Limited Edition: 1380 copies
Binding: Red velvet with gold and silver thread embroidery
Commentary: 1 volume (160 pages) by Asunción Madinaveitia, Manuel Sánchez Mariana, Elisa Ruiz de Elvira, Robert Hilgers, Ludwig Fürst von Anhalt-Köthen, Hernando De Hoces, and Harald Binde
Languages: Spanish or German or English
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.
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