“WHEN I BEGAN THE PLAGUES OF LOVE TO KNOW”: BEAUTIFULLY BOUND VOLUME OF PETRARCH’S TRIUMPHS, WITH FINE FACSIMILES OF 15TH-CENTURY ITALIAN ENGRAVINGS
(PETRARCH, Francesco). The Triumphs of Francesco Petrarch, Florentine Poet Laureate. Boston: Little Brown and Company, (1906). Small folio, publisher’s full crimson morocco, covers elaborately blind-stamped, raised bands, uncut and unopened. Housed in custom cloth box. $2000.
Limited edition in English of Petrarch’s Trionfi, or Triumphs, number 64 of only 200 copies printed, detailing the eternal triumphs of Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity, with six fine photo-engraved facsimiles of 15th-century Italian engravings, each illustrating a personified Triumph, and six hand-painted gilt initials.
“This excessively rare set of Florentine 15th-century engravings may be taken as typical of the manner in which the art of the age was accustomed to embody the ideas suggested by Petrarch’s famous sequence of poems, the ‘Trionfi.’ No theme, outside the cycles of Old and New Testament story, gave more frequent employment to artists and craftsmen; we find it treated alike in illumination, in tapestry, in the painted decorations of marriage chests and birth trays, in pottery and enamel, in relief sculptures of bronze, marble, or ivory, in engravings whether on metal or on wood… In telling of the successive triumphs of Love, of Chastity, of Death, of Fame, of Time, and of Eternity, Petrarch only in one instance, that of Love, brings before us one of these powers personified and riding, accompanied by attendant figures, on a chariot. But artists almost unanimously, without regard to the text, personify all six powers, mount each on a chariot, and escort its maid with attendant figures, or groups of figures” (Sidney Colvin). Translated by Henry Boyd, with an Introduction by Dr. Guido Biagi of the Royal Medicean Library of Florence.
Minor rubs to spine ends. Fine condition, a lovely volume.