1572 Petrarch. Woodcut of “Beware of Flatterers”


Petrarch’s “Remedies for Fortune, Fair & Foul.”             

 German edition, 1572


Verso:  Text in German and Latin printed on laid paper. One woodcut by Hans Weiditz the Younger.


Recto:   As Verso, text only.


Printer:  Christian Egenolff, Frankfurt-am-Main.


Date:  1572 


Content:  In the 1790 translation by Susannah Dobson, Petrarch has this to say about Friends - True and False :


Thou mayest think thy friendships assured, thou mayest joy with one and grieve with another; or if debates happen among them, break thy faith with either or with all. But thou speakest of acquaintances, not friends, and to have a multitude of meer acquaintances is unworthy of a mind capable of employment.  One approved friend is a precious jewel, but common friends bury themselves in worldly matters, and will not know thee but in prosperity; for, led by vile interest and envious opinions they neglect so dear, so precious a commodity.  Nothing is so hard to be known as the heart of man.


Condition:  This leaf is in very good antiquarian condition.  The paper has darkened slightly and there are minor edge tears, but the woodcut and text are sharply printed and the leaf retains its full margins.   It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Notes:  This leaf is from the German translation of Petrarch's De remediis utriusque fortunae. (Remedies for Fortune Fair and Foul.)  The German title is Trostspiegel in Glück und Unglück

Written in 1366 in Latin, the language of the educated, De remediis utriusque fortunae originally targeted an intellectual elite that was well acquainted with the ancient models Petrarch drew upon. However the work soon appealed to a much wider readership and by 1756 the Latin original of this bestseller was published in 28 editions, and was translated into more than 50 languages. It also saw 13 German versions, bearing catchy titles that translate as “Book of Happiness” and “Mirror of Comfort”. The evocative woodcuts of Hans Weiditz the Younger(1495-1537), the so-called "Master of Petrarch", greatly contributed to the success of this German edition.


Writing in the early 1350's, Petrarch said that battles between armies are more easy to win than battles within oneself.  "For a human being there is no struggle more pertinacious," he wrote, "than that with his soul and character".  Petrarch composed the De Remediis Utriusque Fortunae to aid others - and himself - in this ongoing battle of the mind.


Francesco Petrarca, known as Petrarch (1304-1374) was an Italian scholar and poet in Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest humanists. His 1345 rediscovery in Verona of Cicero's letters  to Atticus, Brutus, and Quintus  is often credited with initiating the 14th-century Italian Renaissance. In the 16th century, Pietro Bembo created the model for the modern Italian language based on Petrarch's works, as well as those of Boccaccio, and, to a lesser extent, Dante.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 305x190 mm. Text and illustrated area : approx.  250x160 mm. Presented in a museum quality mat, ready for framing.  Please note that packing and postage is invoiced separately.  Within Australia: $27.50.  Overseas: ask for quote. 


Item No:  PSE 079

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