Pre-Petrarchian Triumphal Chariots

Hi, Huck,
Huck wrote:maybe this is of interest: I saw the remark (I don't know about the "where" in the moment), that Dante had his lover Beatrice on a triumphal chariot and this would be the first appearance. I remember no remark about any connected early pictures, but later there is at least one.

Here's a Giotto picture in San Francesco of Assissi context " "Legend of St. Francis: 8. Vision of the Flaming Chariot"...
A few years ago I began a series of posts on triumphalism, from ancient times to the 17th century, with particular emphasis on the use of a chariot as one symbol of triumph. Only two of the five essays got posted, but you might find something interesting in them. Here was the outline of the series, which includes pointers to other sources of interest.
I'm going to discuss triumphalism and related iconographic motifs in five posts, although the division is naturally somewhat arbitrary. For example, Helios in his chariot continued to be depicted in the Middle Ages as a holdover from ancient times; but it was also a precursor of the Renaissance fondness of the quadriga and a cognate for medieval images of Elijah's fiery translation. This first post will deal with ancient Roman triumphs a bit, with quotes from Margaret Ann Zaho's Imago Triumphalis. The second post will examine the transmission and transition of triumphal motifs in medieval Christian works beginning with Prudentius' Psychomachia, the most prominent early Christian example outside of the Bible (which I'm largely ignoring). It will continue through Pope Innocent III, Dante, and Giotto in the early 14th Century. Petrarch's Triumphs: Allegory and Spectacle, edited by Konrad Eisenbichler and Amilcare A. Iannucci will be the source for much of that. The third post will talk about the revival of triumphalism in the later 14th Century as allegory (i.e., Triumph of Death frescoes), as homage (i.e., Cola di Rienzi's 1354 entry into Rome), and as literary devices in Boccaccio and Petrarch. This too will rely largely on Petrarch's Triumphs. The fourth post will present some material on Renaissance triumphalism in Italy, the fashion for trionfi in the 15th and 16th centuries. This will draw mainly from Imago Triumphalis but also including comments and images regarding Durer and Mantegna. The fifth post will show some images of 17th-century German pageant wagons which illustrate how allegorical figures in such a procession might have appeared at the time Tarot was invented. Those images are from Triumphal Shews: Tournaments at German-speaking Courts in their European Context 1560-1730, by Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly.
Ancient Triumphs ... -of-5.html
Medieval Triumphs ... -of-5.html

The first one should also have included at least one picture of an ancient coin with Nike and a charioteer driving a biga or quadriga.

Best regards,

P.S. Here are a few more early triumphal pics, two of them from manuscripts of Petrarch. (Thanks to Ross for pointing out the article from which they were copied: Triumphal Processions in Italian Renaissance Book Illumination, and Further Sources for Andrea Mantegna’s Triumphs of Caesar, 2008, by Lilian Armstrong.)

Triumph of Caesar, Liber ystoriarum Romanorum, ca. 1300
Hamburg, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, MS 151, fol. 90v
Triumph of Scipio Aftricanus (Jacopo di Paolo?), Libro degli uomini famosi, ca. 1400
Darmstadt, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, MS 101, fol. 53v
Triumph of Scipio Africanus (Cristoforo Cortese), Libro degli uomini famosi, ca. 1415
Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum, MS G.46, fol. 28r
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: Casa del Petrarca

Huck wrote
Michael, do you know of other Trionfi editions "before 1441" beside those, which we have already mentioned (fragments in 1439, 1414 and one "first quarter in 15th century", possibly the not confirmed version in 1418 in Medici hands)?
In his reply, Michael said he didn't know of any, but he gave a list of authors he's referenced over the years. Since I didn't know much about this area, I thought I'd start reading, and keep my eye out for answers to Huck's question.

To answer part of it, as I have already mentioned somewhere, the article "Cosimo and his Books" by A. C. de la Mare (in Cosimo 'Il Vecchio' de' Medici 1389-1464), gives Cosimo de' Medici's 1418 inventory, with no listing of the Trionfi, just the Sonnetti (p. 127), which de la Mare says is probably Laur. plat. 41, 10 (CS 12; AL 111), Petrarch, Canzionere, late 14th or early 15th least one note in Salutati's hand" ( (p. 150). So it was originally Salutati's.

Some book or other, however, probably one of those Michael mentioned, spoke of a series, "Petrarch Manuscripts in..." and then you name a country. So I ordered Petrarch Manuscripts in the British Isles, by Nicholas Webb, 1975. After a few weeks, it came today, so I took a look. It's a 500 page book, but it has a good index I found what look like descriptions of seven manuscripts of the Trionfi in Italy before 1441. Perhaps others can check and see if I'm right. Since I've probably made typographical errors, I'll scan the pages before I check the book back in.

Webb No. 57, p. 219ff: British Museum Additional 16564. Paper (Watermark: Ciseaux, BRIQUET 3660, att. 1427-35), XVth c. (1431)." Has the Rime (1r-139v)- and Trionfi (143r-177v), the latter in 12 sections, covering all 6 triumphs. Webb says (I put a dash where he has a little circle; and the emphasis is mine):
ORIGIN. Italian. Except for ff. 167ff-180r, written in a different humanistic cursive script, the text was copied by a scribe who signed f. 1r: "M-CCCC-XXXI a dì III Zenarro in Gaffa in prixone in una tore". (Footnote: Dr. Andre Watson tells me that Caffa is Feodosiya in the Crimea, where there are still the ruins of a Genoese tower; cf. Enciclopedia Italiana, VIIII 255-56.)

OWNERS. A few annotations, mostly later. In the bottom margin of f. 1r, a coat of arms has been sketched in: three tower gules; [footnote: the field, which is circular, is untinctured; the towers stand on mounds, and each has a coat of arms above its door, apparently argent, a cross gules]. to the right is drawn the lion of St. Mark with its paw on an open book. Bought by the British Museum from the bookseller Thomas Rodd, 9 January 1847.
Nice. The Genoese supposedly brought the Black Death from around there, the north shore of the Black Sea. A good place to send a budding Ovid.

Webb No. 111, pp. 290ff. Brit. Mus. Harley 3478. Paper. (watermark: BRIQUET 15865, att. Prato 1427, Pistoia, Fabriano 1430), XVth c. (1424). Rime and Trionfi, the latter in 13 sections. Other contents: Dante, Canzone and ballate. Webb:
ORIGIN. Italian. small untidy semi-gothic cursive script. After the explicit, f. 163v, the scribe Giuliano Giovenzi da Poggibonsi signed "Scripte et complete per me Iulianum ser Michaelis Iacobi de Iuvenzis de Podio Bonizi sub anno 1424 die primo mensis Aprilis. Gratias agimus qui vivis et regnas in secula seculorum amen. Deo gratias. Amen"; decoration in Florentine style.

OWNERS. Acquired by Robert Harley from the bookseller Nathaniel Noel, 20 January 1721/22.
Prato is 10 mi. NW of Florence, Pistoia another 10 mi. W.

Webb No. 126, pp. 339ff. British Museum King's 321. Parch., XVth c. (1400). Rime (to 50ra), Trionfi, the latter in 14 sections; also Nota de Laura on f. 64ra-b, two Epystolae. Webb:
ORIGIN. Venetian: ff. 1-49 were copied by Andrea da Badagio; cf. f. 48rb, "Scrito per mano de Andrea da Badagio in le prison de Venexia 1400"; the remainder in a more markedly humanistic hand, perhaps later.

OWNERS. Joseph Smith, British Copnsul at Venice 1740-1760; sold to King George III in 1765.
So we don't really know when the Trionfi were added, but given the early date for the Rime, I'd guess before 1441. Webb also describes the historiated inital V on f. 1r, showing "Petrarch, reading, and Laura beside a laurel tree, holding a wreath." Lots of color and conventional foliage on the Rime. "Trionfi initials left blank."

Webb No. 144, p. 338f. Phillipps 9477. Paper (watermarks: Coutelas and Monts, not in BRIQUET), XVth c. (1426). Rime, then, Antonio da Tempo, Vita del Petrarca, then Trionfi in 12 sections. Webb:
ORIGIN: Italian; unsteady semi-humanistic script; the date MCCCCXXVI appears at the end of the Life of Petrarch, f. 134v.

OWNERS. Several members of the Minoccio family of Sienna in the XVth and XVth c. ..bought by Sir Thomas Phillipps from the bookseller Thomas Thorpe in 1836.
There is also a description of the lettering: "Red and blue pen initials alternating; red paragrph signs (later, red and blue alternating); in the Trionfi[/i], red and blue calligraphic initials; Rime numbered in ink. "

Webb No. 145, pp. 339ff. Phillipps 18797. Parch., XVth c. (1427). Trionfi in 13 sections, then Dante, Canzoni, sonetti and other works. Webb:
ORIGIN. Italian; two humanistic hands. The scribe of the Trionfi signed, f. 91r;: "Questi sonno li Trionfi de messer Francescho Petrarca, finiti per ser Gabriele di Francescho da Parma, ora in le Stinche di Firenci a di 10 di magio 1427".

OWNERS. Bought by Sir Thomas Phillipps at the sale of Count Guglielmo Libri's books in 1864; offered for sale in the Phillips sale in June 1919, but remained in the hands ofthe Robinson Trust until 1972; now Florence, Bibl. Laurenziana, Acq. e Doni, 688.
So probably Florentine.

Webb No. 192, p. 412f. Bodleian Library Canonica Ital. 79.
Parch., XIVth c. (late). Rime, then Trionfi, in 14 sections. Webb:
ORIGIN. Italian; semi-humanistic script. The manuscript is palimpsest, written over various XIVth-c. Latin and Italian texts. (Footnote: Including some accounts and Latin verse. The Table is written over a devotional text.)

OWNERS. The emblem of an owner or notary, f. 1r, with the initials P.I.T.; (3) Matteo Luigi Canonici; his brother Giuseppe; Giovanni Perissinotti; acquired by the Bodleian Library in 1817. (Footnote: many annotations in S XV-SVIth-c. and later hands, including a large nunmber of numerical references in the Rime, perhaps cross-references to another ms.
Webb No. 193. Bodleian Library, Canonici Ital. 80. Paper, (watermarks caught in spine, unidentifiable), XVth c. (1431). Trionfi in 16 sections. (I don't know, but there may be different versions of the Triumph of Fame.) Then a Table, followed by Epytaphim Petrarce, a biographical note, and extracts from the Rime. Webb:
ORIGIN. Venetian; two small mercantile cursive hands (footnote: the second begins at f. 44r); the first scribe signed f. 43r: "Finis adi 29 Iujo MIIIIcXXXI in Va" (Footnote: Mortara and Paecht and Alexander (cf. the works mentioned in the bibliography of this ms. ) both read MCCCCXXVI.)

OWNERS. Not known before Iacopo Soranzo; Matteo Luigi Canonici; his brother Giuseppe; Giovanni Perissinotti; acquired by the Bodleian Library in 1817.
f. 44r is immediately after the end of the Trionfi, at the Table. The reference to Paecht and Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts..., II, 47 no. 457, pl. XLV, might be worth a look.

I have mostly omitted descriptions of the illuminations, except where there was an actual depiction of something. Mostly it's just different colored inks.

So the Trionfi are clearly in Florence and environs, although not nearly in the quantity we see after 1440. The other significant place is Venice.

Next I'll request the volume in the series on the United States. I'm not sure I can get the rest, for France, Switzerland, Germany, and who knows where else.

Re: Casa del Petrarca

On the subject of Petrarch and triumphs, any chance he viewed the triumphal Visconti frescoes at their castle on Lago Maggiore at Angera (which Filippo used in his title as count of Angera, MARIA PHILIPPVS ANGLVS DVX)? The chariots for the planets, at least the sun and moon's, hover over terrerstrial events, somewhat suggestive of his Trionfi themes (at least in terms of Time rules over our fame).

The fresco would have likely been painted some 50 years before Petrarch saw them when he went to Milan and worked for archbishop Giovanni Visconti; the frescoes were painted for Ottone Visconti, c. 1280, to celebrate his triumphal entry into Milan over the delle Torre. My own cruddy pictures of Angera from 2 years ago:

Re: Casa del Petrarca

Thanks for taking the time to extract those references, Mike. This is very good - now we're getting somewhere.

In addition to noting Florence and Venice as copying centers of the text, there seems to be an increase in the number beginning in the 1420s. These seven are probably too few to be used to draw firm chronological conclusions, but we could test this tendency when we get other such lists -

Late 14th

It definitely "takes off" in the mid-1420s. When you say these are "not nearly in the quantity we see after 1440", can you give a rough estimate for those after that date found in Webb?

Re: Casa del Petrarca

Short answer: I count 63 here including 2 with just short fragments. So about 90% are after 1440 (assuming I lost count and missed a couple of those listed below).

Long answer, by Webb's numbers:

1. mid-15th cent. Same humanistic script as a 1445 ms. for William Gray, and a c. 1450 for Pope Nicholas V now in the Marciana, Venice. decoration Florentine.
5. 2nd half 15th. decoration Milanese.
12. ca. 1465-70. humanistic, attributed by Alfred Fairbank to Antonio Tophio. Decoration Paduan or Roman.
14. late 15th. Sinibaldesque hand; decoration Neapolitan.
44. late 15th. NE Italy. Upright humanistic hand.
54. late 15th. decoration probably Ferrarese.
58. 3rd quarter 15th. decoration Florentine. Coat of arms, or, a bend azure (Gherardesca family of Florence)?
65. Attr. Naples 1452. Cupidinus and Pudicitie only
68. 2nd half 15th. Humanistic hand. Belonged in 18th cent to Luccesino Luccesini, senator of Lucca.
69. 3rd quart. 15th. Decoration Florentine. Strozzi arms, Florence, added later in ink.
72. 3rd quart 15th. decoration NE Italy (Ferrara or Venice?)
73. 2nd half 15th. Initials Venetian style.
77. late 15th. Venetian or Milanese style, similar to Sforza Hours; executed for a member of the Romei family of Ferrara.
87. last quart 15th. Florentine illuminations. Owned by a member of the Medici.
104. 16th century. Italian chancery hand. Missing Tr. of Time. copied from a Petrarchan autograph, reproducing his notes and corrections faithfully.
105. 3rd quart. 15th. Florentine illumination. Arms of Tedaldi family of Florence or Cremona.
107. 1465. NE Italy (Ferrara or Treviso?). Coat of arms of Mussolini family of Treviso.
109. 3rd quart. 15th. illumination style of Ferrara. Arms of Priuli family of Venice.
112. late 15th. Florentine illumination.
113. mid 15th. Florentine or Roman.
115. 2nd half, before 1483. Signed Matteo Contugi, scribe for Gonzaga family. Decoration Mantuan or Ferrarese.
119. 1467. Signed and dated Giorgio di Britio, poor quality semi-humanistic script.
121. mid 15th. illumination Florentine.
122. last quart. 15th. illumination Florentine. Medici family owned.
129. ca 1455-60. illumination Florentine. Arms of Aragon.
136. Mid (?) 15th. ill-formed script, decoration central Italian.
138. ca 1462-75, for a cardinal possibly Francesco Gonzaga. Script attributed to Sanvito, illumination by Franco Russi and one other artist. Executed Venice or Padua.
139. att. 1498 Florence.
140. ca. 1480-90, decoration Neapolitan.
142. ca 1490-1500. script and possibly illumination by Sanvito, probably at Rome.
146. late 15th. Illumination Florentine.
151. mid 15th. decoration Florentine.
157. ca. 1460-80. Possibly Iacobus de Machariis of Venice; decoration style of Venice or Ferrara.
165. 2nd half 15th. Cupidus, Pudicitie, Mortis, early redaction of Fama. Perhaps NE Italy.
173. 1464. Fragment of Mortis. Written by Antonio de Cecco Rosso Petrucci of Sienna while imprisoned at Urbino.
174. 2nd half 15th. owned perhaps Simone di Francesco Domenici; Iacopo Soranzo of Venice.
175. Late 15th. untidy script, unknown provenance before Iacopo Soranzo of Venice, d. 1761.
176. 16th cent. Owned Iacopo Soranzo of Venice. d. 1761.
177. ca 1470-80. illumination Florentine.
178. 1450. Scribe signed "Giamai piacermi puote cossa ville. Scripsi ego Iachobus Nani domini Iohanis anno domini nostri m CCCC L, die dezimo marzi. Owned by Piero di Damiani at Venice in 16th century.
179. att. 1459 Venice.
181. 3rd quart. 15th. Owned Iacopo Soranzo.
182. c 1470-1480. Probably Venetian or Veronese.
184. 3rd quart. 15th.illumination style Ferrara.
185. 1478. Semi-humanistic script. Signed by scribe.
186. Late 15th. illumination Northern Italian.
187. last auart. 15th. att. Venice 1476 or 1465-67. Possibly Venetian.
188. 3rd quart. 15th. Venice or Ferrara.
189. before 1460. Cupidinis, Pudicitie, Mortis I fragment, Mortis II, Fama early redaction. Owned Venturi family Florence in xvth cent.
191. 3rd quart. 15th. illum. Florentine.
195. 3rd quart. 15th. Style of Ferrara.
199. ca 1471-1478. att. Undine1470. Venetian?
214. 1465. Illumination by Gioacchino de Gigantibus, then in Sienna. Script signed and dated.
219. 1450-1460. Illumination Florentine.
221, 3rd quart. 15th. humanistic script. Owner: "Ego sum Cesaris domini Lud. Cesar domioni Ludovici."
228. ca. 1470-80. Script attributed to Bartolomeo Fonzio. illum. Florentine, written for Francesco Sassetti of Florence (d. 1491).
229. 3rd quart. 15th cent. illum. Florentine.
230. 3rd quart 125th. illum. Florentine.
234. 1461. illum. central Italian (?). Arms of Piccolomini family.
244. ca. 1470. Scribe Giovan Francesco Marzi da San Gimignano. illum. Florentine.
249. ca 1450-60. Illumination Florentine.
257. ca 1470. Initial in Veronese style; perhaps from Ferrara. Arms of Tagliapietra family of Venice.
265. 2nd half 15th. illum. style Ferrara.