2 woodcuts:"Losing at Dice", "Losing a Bride". Petrarch

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Petrarch’s Remedies for Fortune, Fair & Foul.      German edition, 1572


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


Verso:   As Recto with another woodcut.


Printer:  Christian Egenolff, Frankfurt-am-Main.


Date:  1572 


Content:  In the 1790 translation by Susannah Dobson, Petrarch has this to say about gambling:


All money won by play runneth faster than other: it is seen never to stay in the hands of the impious banker; and no loss is more grievous that that which hath had the taste of the sweetness of gain.  To rejoice in winning is to rejoice in poison; it will break out at the veins anon.  There be some sins that are sorrowed for, some repented of; but the sin of gambling is a detestable hardness that cases the soul in iron to eternity!


On Marriage, Petrarch advises:  I would have thee engage in wedlock, not for the love of beauty, but for the love and protection of merit; for a companion, to help thee through they cares and worthily and holily to breed up thy children, that they may not, like unpruned trees, bear thee no fruits of gratitude and love in youth, after having wearied out the patience in childhood.


Condition:  This leaf is in good antiquarian condition.  The paper has darkened slightly and there are minor edge tears, but the woodcuts 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.  Archivally mounted, ready to frame.  Please note that postage is invoiced separately.  Australia $22.50. Overseas, ask for quote.


Item No:  PSE 078

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