Storia di due amanti (Tale of Two Lovers)

Various artists/makers

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.

Storia di due amanti (Tale of Two Lovers), Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Italian, Corsignano near Siena 1405–1464 Ancona), Printed book with woodcut illustrations

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