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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Italy, Lombardy, ca. 1375
MS M.502 fol. 1r

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Petrarch, hooded, at desk beside bookcase with books, holds pen in right hand to page of open book with pseudo-inscription on the desk. Figure enclosed in decorated initial U.
Margins with geometric and scroll ornament, inhabited by fantastic animals.
In top margin are two quatrefoils enclosing tree at left, and at right, profile portrait of a woman, possibly Laura de Noves. In center medallion is Eros (Cupid), winged, nude, holding bowl of fruit in right hand and bow in left hand.
In side margins are medallions enclosing monogram of initials LB.
In lower margin are two quatrefoils enclosing chained wolf at left, and at right, decorated monogram G (?), surmounted by a crown. At center, two collared leopards flank quatrefoil enclosing effaced escutcheon, surmounted by a helm with wreath, on cloth held by two winged cherubs. Above the helm is half-figure of woman, holding cornucopia in right hand and scroll inscribed F[RANCISCI] P[ETRARCAE] V[ERSU] (sic) in left hand.

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