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6. The Renaissance Personification of Time in Illustrations to Petrarch’s Trionfo del Tempo

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Chapter Summary

A new visual allegory that focused on the personification of Time was created in the Quattrocento by illustrators of Francesco Petrarca's Trionfo del Tempo, fifth in the series of six allegorical Trionfi. This chapter charts the artistic development of an unprecedented artistic theme, identifying aspects of iconographic continuity and innovation and analyzing the implications of its mutations. The extant Trionfo del Tempo illustrations, produced between 1440 and 1600 in manuscripts and printed editions of the Trionfi, have never before been subject to systematic research. The chapter discusses the study that has been based upon over a hundred illustrations that are adduced as valid evidence of the development and formation of time-concepts. Trionfo del Tempo follows the Trionfo della Fama, which was a central theme in Petrarch's earlier writings, in his philosophy and even in his biography. The significance of fame for Petrarch was related to his sense of history.

Keywords: Francesco Petrarca's Trionfo del Tempo; Quattrocento; time-concepts; Trionfi



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