Band 10: Zur Emblematisierung von Francesco Petrarcas 'De remediis utriusque fortune'
Bernhard Huss – 2023
Francesco Petrarch's two-part collection of dialogues De remediis utriusque fortune was his most widely read text in the early modern period and played a decisive role in shaping the author's moral-philosophical physiognomy in Europe. North of the Alps, the fact that De remediis was not only translated into German - as it was into many other living languages - but also illustrated throughout, contributed in no small measure to the work's great success. The complete German translation printed in Augsburg in 1532 by the publisher Heinrich Steyner with elaborate woodcuts by the hand of the so-called Petrarch Master, which illustrated both the paratexts and all 253 dialogues of the collection, formed the much-received basis for a whole series of further publications provided with these images. In the course of these, the German version of Petrarch’s text was first shortened and simplified from 1539 onwards, and the text-image conglomerates were provided with versified additions. In some later editions, Petrarch’s text disappeared further, turning the German De remediis into an almost 'regularly' constructed emblem book; the interest in the images to the detriment of the text could even go so far that the German titles and image captions also receded and only the woodcuts with versified subscriptiones remained. We are thus dealing with a veritable process of emblematisation, which, since 1539, has privileged the pictorial material deeply rooted in the readers’ memory more and more over the text and considerably modified the semantics of the individual chapters of De remediis as well as the overall message of the text. These changes in the text-image relationship must be seen against the background of the general development of early modern emblematics and certainly have a good deal to do with the particular memorial effect that historical theory generally attributed to the image in relation to the text.
Huss, Bernhard: Zur Emblematisierung von Francesco Petrarcas De remediis utriusque fortune