Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Storia di due amanti (Tale of Two Lovers)

Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Italian, Corsignano near Siena 1405–1464 Ancona)
Alessandro Braccio (Italian, Florence 1445–1502 Rome)
Published for ("ad instantia di") Ser Piero Pacini da Pescia, active Florence ca. 1495-1514
Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici (Italian, 1463–1503)
Published in:
ca. 1495–1500
Printed book with woodcut illustrations
8 1/16 x 5 11/16 x 3/8 in. (20.5 x 14.5 x 1 cm)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
Not on view
Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius II (r. 1458–64), wrote this tale of adultery in 1444 before taking holy orders (the original was written in Latin). It may have been based on a true incident that took place in Siena. The narrative circulated widely both in manuscript and then in numerous published editions after the pope's death. The tragic and rather cynical tone of the Latin text is lightened with a happy ending in the Italian version, culminating in a splendid marriage and large family. This book is probably the first illustrated edition. Some of the woodcuts may actually have been reused from other books, as was often the case in Pacini's press.
Proemio di Ser Alexandra Braccio al ... giovane Lore[n]zo di Pier fra[n]cesco de Medici

Charles Fairfax Murray (British, London 1849–1919 London)
K.330b (this copy); Sander 5665; Goff 1964 P-690 (this copy); H. 32; ISTC ip00690000
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