Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States


Ms. W. 476

Heavy parchment with modern paper interfoliation forming quires of 2 bifolia, ff. I-V (mod. paper) + 35 + 11 (mod. paper), modern pencil foliation of only the parchment leaves, 235 × 170 mm., variable written area (average of 4-5 lines written below the medallions), lead ruling occasionally visible, the text below the medallions is in Roman capitals, the moralizations are written by two persons: 1) ff. 1-6, 10-11, 14-15, 18, 19, 25-28, 30-32, in an Italic script; 2) ff. 7-9, 12-13, 16, 17, 20-24, 29, in a later Italic hand with cursive features. The recto of each parch. folio contains a medallion (the verso is blank as are the paper interfoliations) in upper margin, 55 mm. in diam., in burnt Siena border (5 mm.), rimmed with a painted gold edge 1 mm. wide; the garments are yellow, orange, rose, occasionally green and lavender; the tall, slim figures move gracefully through the landscape in which strong tones of blue and green predominate, in the foreground there is generally a grassy elevation and water in background with a low horizon; the flesh tones are shaded with brown wash, red striations. Binding, green parchment over paper boards, double gold fillet border on sides and on spine: similar to the Archinto binding. An emblem book: each folio contains an historiated medallion (termed medaglia in ms.) with below in Roman capitals a verse taken from Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. or Triumphi , Ovid, Metamorphoses , and the Psalms ; the verse is followed by a moralization by an unidentified author (there are no moralizations for ff. 34-35). f. 1, Medallion of the kneeling Cupid before a goddess with a scourge; Petrarch, Tr. cup. III, V. 126, "Teme di lei onde io son for di speme"; moralization, "Vuole intendere esser fuor d’ogni speranza di gioir de la sua amata poscia ch’ei vede che Cupido medesimo teme di lei servendosi del verso del Petrarca sopra scritto". f. 2, Medallion of a coiled snake hidden in a flowerbed; Petrarch, Tr. cup. III, V. 157, "So come sta fra fiori ascoso l’angue"; moralization on the perfidy of lovers. f. 3, Medallion of a blindfolded man stepping over a cliff; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. no. 18, V. 7, "Vomene a guisa d’orbo senza luce"; moralization about the blindness of lovers. f. 4, Medallion of a man fleeing from a bow set against arrows thrust in the ground; Ps. 38, 14, "Amplius non ero"; moralization on the abandonment of love. f. 5, Medallion of a seated youth who points at a blazing fire he has tried in vain to extinguish by throwing rocks on it; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. no. 55, V. 1, "Quel foco che pensai fose spento"; moral about unrelenting love. f. 6, Medallion of four cherubs setting a trap around a winged female (soul); Ps. 9, 16 (variant) "De laqueo venantium"; moral about the soul’s escape from the pleasure of love. f. 7, Medallion of a sleeping female nude with Cupid seated at her shoulder and a man approaching; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 52, V. 8, "Tutto tremar d’uno amoroso gelo"; moralization about the opportunity given by love to enjoy pleasures of the loved one. f. 8, Medallion of Ixion turning the handle of the six-spoked wheel of fortune; Ovid, Met. IV, 460, Italian translation, "Ision pel pecato, io per honore"; moralization on the torments of fortune. f. 9, Medallion of a cedar tree loaded with fruit, a female torso is carved into the trunk; "Di tal legno è l’imagine mia viva"; moralization about the lasting image of the loved one. f. 10, Medallion of a standing man who holds a diamond over his heart; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 155, V. 11, "Mi scrisse entro un diamante in mezo il core"; moralization on the lasting record of a loved one’s name, etched in a diamond. f. 11, Medallion of Cupid shooting an helmeted nude man; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 133, V. 1, "Amor m’ha posto come segno a strale"; moralization about a lover becoming a target of love’s arrows. f. 12, Medallion of a carob tree loaded with seedpods, some on the ground; "’nanci el fin d’un comincia l’altro stracio"; moralization about the constance of love’s torment, similar to the tree’s continuous production of fruit. f. 13, Medallion of a laurel grove, and two lightning bolts on the ground; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 41, V. 2, "L’arbor ch’amò già Phebo in corpo humano"; moralization about the laurel tree’s resistance to lightning, i.e. its resistance to ill fortune; also cited is a verse "Cadent ad latere tuo". f. 14, Medallion of a woman hanging a garment on a tree trunk from which are suspended a shield and weapons, her left foot is resting on a breastplate; Petrarch, Tr. cup. III, V. 123, "De sue belezze et de mie spoglie altera"; moralization in praise of the loved one who lacks haughtiness. f. 15, Medallion of a man looking up at the head of Medusa in the sky, his lower body turned to stone; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 366, V. 111, "Medusa et l’eror mio m’han fatto un sasso"; moralization about the fact that love was caused in part by error and in part by the eyes of the loved one. f. 16, Medallion of an elephant trampling a serpent which has wrapped itself around his legs and trunk; Ps. 7, 16, "Incidit in foveam quam fecit"; moralization of the snake which tries to capture an elephant and is crushed to death. f. 17, Medallion of two naked children playing with a lion whose head is covered with a cloth; Ps. 7, 10, "Consumetur nequitia"; moralization about the lion which when its eyes are blinded loses its fierceness and can be captured; so too a woman when she loses beauty loses her power of intrigue. f. 18, Medallion of a man in a boat holding an oar as the wind blows the sail; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 80, V. 29, "E più ch’i’ non vorei piena la vela"; a moralization exhalting the desire for strength as the highest virtue. f. 19, Medallion of a cringing man in irons who sits among thorns, Cupid holds a pair of wings and points to roses and violets; Petrarch, Tr. cup. III, 180, "Sue speranze di fé come son vote"; moralization of love which is a bed of thorns rather than roses. f. 20, Medallion of a man standing on a six-spoked wheel of fortune set against a post, the man grasps a palm tree; Ps. 36, 16 (variant); "Nil melius"; moralization about how man should strive for virtue, in the symbol of the palm, over fortune, in the symbol of the wheel. f. 21, Medallion of a six-spoked wheel of fortune floating in mid-air; Ps. 8, 8, "Omnia subiecisti"; the wheel of fortune with no moralization. f. 22, Medallion of bees gathering honey from thistles; Petrarch, Rerum vulgar. fragm., no. 297, v. 8, "Ond’iscîr già tante amorose punte"; moralization, just as honey is drawn from thistles, so too love is able to grow from bitter passion and sharp stings ( "amare passione e punture acerbissime" ). f. 23, Medallion of a man walking beside a panther and her three cubs; Job 13, 15, "Exemplum dedi vobis"; moralization about mutual help as expressed in the tale of Democritus: a panther leads a man to the grave of his people, the man returns the cubs to the panther and the panther leads the man out of the forest. f. 24, Medallion of a panther hiding her head in the bushes as her two cubs and two stags look on; Ps. 10, 9, "Insidiatur in abscondito"; moralization, just as the panther with an ugly head and a beautiful body hides its head to attract prey, so too a woman with sweet looks and an evil heart attracts lovers. f. 25, Medallion of Cupid leading a couple by the hand; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 153, v. 12, "Gite sicuri homai, ch’amor vien vosco"; moralization about the security of a person who loves and is loved. f. 26, Medallion of a reclining nude man who is pointing at an orrery on a rock; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 150, v. 14, "Che a gran speranza huom misero non crede"; moralization about he who has loved in vain and has no hope. f. 27, Medallion of Cupid with a switch beating a bound man; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 326, 1 (variant), "Per mostar (sic) a lo estremo ogni sua possa"; moralization on the absolute power of love. f. 28, Medallion of a distraught man standing in a boat with a broken mast and a lost oar, on the high seas; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 132, v. 11, "Mi trovo in alto mar senza governo"; moralization of an example of the accidents of love. f. 29, Medallion of an ermine moving from a bog to a fire; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 129, v. 72, "Qui veder puoi l’imagine mia sola"; moralization on the preference of the pure fire of love. f. 30, Medallion of a man struck by lightning, abandoned by three former friends; Ps. 26, 10, "Derelinquerunt me"; moralization about how when one loses the favor of a prince, it is as if being struck by lightning and abandoned by friends. f. 31, Medallion of Cupid and a woman who turn their backs on a man sitting in flames; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 216, v. 14, "Vedemi arder nel foco et non m’aita"; moralization on a lover whose love is not requited. f. 32, Medallion of a man holding his hands out to a fire, turning to look at Cupid behind him; Ps. 136, 6, "Si non meminero tui"; moralization about the promise of a lover to burn himself if ever he forgets a jealous loved one. f. 33, Medallion of palm trees on opposite banks of a stream which lean towards each other; "Vince amor non pur solo homini e dei"; (cfr. Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 239, vv. 19-20); no moralization. f. 34, Medallion of a woman putting a yoke on a man, between them Cupid sleeps; Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , no. 197, v. 3, "Et a me pose un dolce giogo al colo"; no moralization. f. 35, Medallion of a seated half-nude man receiving food and drink from three men; Ps. 139, 14, "Habitabunt recti cum vultu tuo"; no moralization. ORIGIN
Illuminated and written in Northern Italy to judge from the art work, s. XVI.
On the first front flyleaf verso in the pencil note, "not. 33557/Cf."; acquired from L. S. Olschki.
De Ricci, p. 828, no. 421. Dutschke, Census, no. 7, pp. 45-49.

De Ricci
De Ricci, S. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. 3 vols. New York, 1935-40.
Dutschke, Census
Dutschke, D. Census of Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States, Padova, 1986.

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