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Boccaccio Decameron and More

Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313 – 1375, was an Italian writer and poet and an important Renaissance humanist. He wrote mostly in the Italian vernacular, as well as some works in Latin, and is particularly noted for his realistic dialogue which differed from that of his contemporaries.
Boccaccio spent his childhood in Florence. His father had no sympathy for Boccaccio’s literature inclinations and sent him to Naples, to an office of the Bardi, who were money lenders, to learn business. In Naples, Boccaccio became a consul (or senior officer) of the Arte del Cambio (the Guild of the moneychangers and money lenders) and met with the learned men of the court and the friends and admirers of Petrarch. It was about 1340 when Boccaccio returned to Florence due to the bankruptcy of the Bardi and brought in a store of literary work already he already completed. After 10 years and financial challenges, in 1350 he became a Florentine ambassador and visited Rome, Ravenna, Avignon and Brandenburg. During this period he formed a lasting friendship with Francesco Petrarch.
In 1358 he completed his main work, the Decameron. During the plague at Florence in 1348, seven ladies and three gentlemen left the city for a country villa and over a period of ten days told one hundred stories. Boccaccio selected the plots of his stories mostly from the fabliaux which had passed into Italy from France, medieval stories that had classical form.
The influence of the Decameron on European literature is enormous. Chaucer and Shakespeare both borrowed from it.
Death of Philippota of Catena from BL Royal 14 E V, f. 506v
549 Media in collectionpage 1 of 6

Boccaccio, Giovanni

Stecher: Monogrammist G. P. S. Radierer: Monogrammist G. P. S. Datierung: 1691 / 1750

Boccaccio, Giovanni

Maler: Tizian Stecher: Bolt, Johann Friedrich Verlag: Schumann, Gebr. Verlagsort: Zwickau

Boccaccio, Giovanni

Stecher: Jode, Pieter de (2) Verleger: Goetkint, Anton Datierung: 1631 / 1637

Boccaccio, Giovanni

Maler: Tizian Stecher: Bolt, Johann Friedrich Verlag: Schumann, Gebr. Verlagsort: Zwickau

Boccaccio, Giovanni

Stecher: Dalen, Cornelis van (2) Datierung: 1655 / 1664

Boccaccio, Giovanni

Stecher: Bry, Theodor de

Boccaccio, Giovanni

Stecher: Bry, Theodor de

Torture of Epicharis from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 141v

Miniature of the torture of Epicharis. Image taken from f. 141v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre de femmes nobles et ... more

Sappho from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 75v

Miniature of Sappho reading her poems to other authors. Image taken from f. 75v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre de f... more

Niobe from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 26

Miniature of Niobe viewing the dead bodies of her husband, Amphion, and two of her children. Image taken from f. 26 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (inde... more

Thamar from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 90

Miniature of Thamar painting a picture of Diana. Image taken from f. 90 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre de femmes no... more

Marc Antony falling on his sword from BL Royal 20 C IV, f. 239v

Miniature of Marc Antony falling on his sword. Image taken from f. 239v of De casibus virorum illustrium in French translation (Des cas des ruynes des nobles hommes et femmes). Written in French.

'Dripetrue' (Drypetina), queen of Laodicea from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 116v

Miniature of 'Dripetrue' (Drypetina), queen of Laodicea, waiting on her father Mithridates. Image taken from f. 116v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (inde... more

Medusa in a ship from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 33

Miniature of Medusa in a ship, with ensign representing Pegasus. Image taken from f. 33 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le li... more

Marcie with mirror and sculptor's tools from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 104

Miniature of 'Marcie qui fut de Varron' (i.e. Jaia of Cyzicus) with mirror and sculptor's tools. Image taken from f. 104 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (... more

Boccaccio and Petrarch from BL Royal 18 D VII, f. 175

Miniature of Boccaccio in bed, with Petrarch nearby. Image taken from f. 175 of De casibus virorum illustrium (Des cas des ruynes des nobles hommes et fammes). Written in French.

Wheel of Fortune from BL Royal 20 C IV, f. 1

Miniature of the Wheel of Fortune, with a king at the top, with a full border and a foliate initial 'A'(puissant), at the beginning of the first prologue, with the Henry VII's monogram of 'HR' in the lower marg... more

Jean of Berry from BL Royal 19 E I, f. 1

Detail of a miniature of Jean, duke of Berry, receiving the book from the translator, Laurent de Premierfait, at the beginning of the prologue. Image taken from f. 1 of Decameron (Les cent nouvelles). Written in French.

Text page from BL Royal 20 C IV, f. 77

Text with illuminated initials. Image taken from f. 77 of De casibus virorum illustrium in French translation (Des cas des ruynes des nobles hommes et femmes). Written in French.

Penelope from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 61v

Detail of a miniature of Penelope weaving, and the slaughter of her suitors. Image taken from f. 61v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris muli... more

Boccaccio and Petrarch from BL Royal 18 D VII, f. 175

Detail of a miniature of Boccaccio in bed, with Petrarch nearby. Image taken from f. 175 of De casibus virorum illustrium (Des cas des ruynes des nobles hommes et fammes). Written in French.

Tinted drawing from BL Harley 621, f. 315

Detail of a tinted drawing of Boccaccio, reclining in bed, approached by Petrarch who is crowned with a laurel wreath. Rinceaux border inhabited by birds and a decorated initial 'I'. Image taken from f. 315 of ... more

'Dripetrue' (Drypetina), queen of Laodicea from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 116v

Detail of a miniature of 'Dripetrue' (Drypetina), queen of Laodicea, waiting on her father Mithridates. Image taken from f. 116v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French trans... more

Torture of Epicharis from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 141v

Detail of a miniature of the torture of Epicharis. Image taken from f. 141v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre de femme... more

Marcie with mirror and sculptor's tools from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 104

Detail of a miniature of 'Marcie qui fut de Varron' (i.e. Jaia of Cyzicus) with mirror and sculptor's tools. Image taken from f. 104 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French t... more

Thamar from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 90

Detail of a miniature of Thamar painting a picture of Diana. Image taken from f. 90 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre ... more

Arachne spinning from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 30v

Miniature of Arachne spinning. Image taken from f. 30v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre de femmes nobles et renomées)... more

Niobe from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 26

Detail of a miniature of Niobe viewing the dead bodies of her husband, Amphion, and two of her children. Image taken from f. 26 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French trans... more

Oedipus from BL Harley 1766, f. 46v

Detail of a miniature of Oedipus raising his sword to cut off the head of the Sphinx. Image taken from f. 46v of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium), abridged. Written in English.

Berenice from BL Royal 18 D VII, f. 106

Miniature of Berenice being taken, and the deaths of Antiochus and Seleucus. Image taken from f. 106 of De casibus virorum illustrium (Des cas des ruynes des nobles hommes et fammes). Written in French.

Marc Antony falling on his sword from BL Royal 20 C IV, f. 239v

Detail of a miniature of Marc Antony falling on his sword. Image taken from f. 239v of De casibus virorum illustrium in French translation (Des cas des ruynes des nobles hommes et femmes). Written in French.

Jean of Berry from BL Royal 19 E I, f. 1

Miniature of Jean, duke of Berry, receiving the book from the translator, Laurent de Premierfait, with a full border containing the royal arms of England surrounded by the Garter with the motto, 'Honny soit qui... more

Medusa in a ship from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 33

Detail of a miniature of Medusa in a ship, with ensign representing Pegasus. Image taken from f. 33 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulie... more

Arachne weaving from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 30v

Detail of a miniature of Arachne weaving on a band loom, holding a sword beater, used to tamp down row of weft after it goes across the warp. Image taken from f. 30v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mu... more

King Cyrus from BL Harley 1766, f. 135

Detail of a miniature of the remains of King Cyrus floating in tub of water. Image taken from f. 135 of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium), abridged. Written in English.

Tinted drawing from BL Harley 621, f. 274

Tinted drawing of the Emperor Octavian watching Mark Antony being dragged away, Cassius Parmensis praying before a statue of Julius Caesar, and Julia being sent into exile. Rinceaux border inhabited by a butter... more

Tinted drawing from BL Harley 621, f. 217

Tinted drawing of Boccaccio watching Fortune turn her wheel. Partial rinceaux border inhabited by a rooster. Image taken from f. 217 of Du Cas des Nobles Hommes et Femmes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum... more

King Cyrus from BL Harley 1766, f. 135

Detail of a miniature of the remains of King Cyrus floating in tub of water. Image taken from f. 135 of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium), abridged. Written in English.

Tinted drawing from BL Harley 621, f. 315

Tinted drawing of Boccaccio, reclining in bed, approached by Petrarch who is crowned with a laurel wreath. Rinceaux border inhabited by birds and a decorated initial 'I'. Image taken from f. 315 of Du Cas des N... more

Sappho from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 75v

Detail of a miniature of Sappho reading her poems to other authors. Image taken from f. 75v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, L... more

Wheel of Fortune from BL Royal 20 C IV, f. 1

Detail of a miniature of the Wheel of Fortune, with a king at the top, at the beginning of the first prologue. Image taken from f. 1 of De casibus virorum illustrium in French translation (Des cas des ruynes de... more

Gaia Caecilia or Tanaquil from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 75

Detail of a miniature of Gaia Caecilia or Tanaquil at her loom, while women spin and card wool. Image taken from f. 75 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (in... more

Jadan and Jereboam (Kings I, chapter 13) from BL Harley 1766, f. 107

Detail of a miniature of the Prophet Jadan before the King Jereboam: the destruction of the golden calf. Image taken from f. 107 of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium), abridg... more

Hymnestra from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 24

Detail of a miniature of Hymnestra being arrested on the order of Danaus. Image taken from f. 24 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulierib... more

Tomb of Arthur from BL Harley 1766, f. 219

Detail of a miniature of the tomb of Arthur. Image taken from f. 219 of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium), abridged. Written in English.

Oedipus from BL Harley 1766, f. 46v

Miniature of Oedipus raising his sword to cut off the head of the Sphinx, portrayed as a man in a blue garment, holding a large scimitar. Image taken from f. 46v of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum... more

Julian the Apostate from BL Harley 1766, f. 201v

Detail of a miniature of Julian the Apostate being pierced by a spear. Image taken from f. 201v of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium), abridged. Written in English.

Julian the Apostate from BL Harley 1766, f. 200

Detail of a miniature of Julian the Apostate crowned by flying devils. Image taken from f. 200 of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium), abridged. Written in English.

Tinted drawing from BL Harley 621, f. 71

Detail of a tinted drawing of Poverty strangling Fortune, and, in the background, Andalo del Negro delivering a lecture. Image taken from f. 71 of Du Cas des Nobles Hommes et Femmes (index De casibus virorum et... more

Boccaccio and Fortune from BL Royal 20 C IV, f. 198

Detail of a miniature of Bocaccio in his study, with his vision of Fortune as a crowned lady with many arms. Image taken from f. 198 of De casibus virorum illustrium in French translation (Des cas des ruynes de... more

Death of Brunhilda from BL Royal 18 D VII, f. 203v

Detail of a miniature of the death of Brunhilda. Image taken from f. 203v of De casibus virorum illustrium (Des cas des ruynes des nobles hommes et fammes). Written in French.

Camilla from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 59v

Miniature of Camilla, Queen of the Volscians, hunting. Image taken from f. 59v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre de fe... more

Executions from BL Royal 18 D VII, f. 129

Detail of a miniature of executions by hanging and by beheading, with an illuminated initial 'F'(ortune) and foliate borders. Image taken from f. 129 of De casibus virorum illustrium (Des cas des ruynes des nob... more

Mithridates VI and Hypsicratea from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 119

Miniature of Mithridates VI and his wife, Hypsicratea, on horseback. Image taken from f. 119 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, ... more

Sempronia from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 121

Miniature of Sempronia, wife of a Roman consul, with a book, desk, and musical instruments, being embraced by a man. Image taken from f. 121 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous ... more

Irene painting a picture from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 96

Miniature of Irene, daughter of Cratinus, painting a picture of a boy. Image taken from f. 96 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus,... more

Presentation scene from BL Royal 18 D VII, f. 2

Detail of a miniature divided in 4 compartments: 1. Pope with cardinals; 2. King of France enthroned; 3. Jean, duke of Berry receiving the book from the translator, Laurent de Premierfait; 4. A group of laboure... more

Beaufort badge from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 1

Partial bar border with foliate motifs and a large initial 'D'(e) with the Beaufort badge of a portcullis and chains surmounted by a coronet. Image taken from f. 1 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris muli... more

Medea uttering a spell from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 29

Miniature of Medea seated, uttering a spell; Jason on horseback, and the slaughter either of Absyrtus or of one of Medea's children. Image taken from f. 29 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus i... more

Boccaccio from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 5

Detail of a frontispiece in four panels, of Boccaccio reading a book, Boccaccio presenting the book to Andrea Acciaiuoli, countess of Altavilla, a messenger presenting a letter to Semiramis, and a queen with fo... more

Medea uttering a spell from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 29

Detail of a miniature of Medea seated, uttering a spell; Jason on horseback, and the slaughter either of Absyrtus or of one of Medea's children. Image taken from f. 29 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris ... more

Flora from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 101

Miniature of Flora enthroned in a landscape, with musicians, during her festival, with an illuminated initial 'S'. Image taken from f. 101 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous Fr... more

Presentation scene from BL Royal 18 D VII, f. 2

Miniature divided in 4 compartments: 1. Pope with cardinals; 2. King of France enthroned; 3. Jean, duke of Berry receiving the book from the translator, Laurent de Premierfait; 4. A group of labourers; and a fo... more

Executions from BL Royal 18 D VII, f. 129

Miniature of executions by hanging and by beheading, with an illuminated initial 'F'(ortune) and foliate borders. Image taken from f. 129 of De casibus virorum illustrium (Des cas des ruynes des nobles hommes e... more

Detail from BL Harley 1766, f. 70

Miniature of Hercules shooting arrows at Nessus and Deianira. Image taken from f. 70 of The Fall of Princes (index De casibus virorum et feminarum illustrium), abridged. Written in English.

Tinted drawing from BL Harley 621, f. 369v

Detail of a tinted drawing of Clothaire enthroned, Muhammad preaching, and Brunhilde being drawn and quartered. Image taken from f. 369v of Du Cas des Nobles Hommes et Femmes (index De casibus virorum et femina... more

Irene painting a picture from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 96

Detail of a miniature of Irene, daughter of Cratinus, painting a picture of a boy. Image taken from f. 96 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris... more

Sempronia from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 121

Detail of a miniature of Sempronia, wife of a Roman consul, with a book, desk, and musical instruments, being embraced by a man. Image taken from f. 121 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in a... more

Camilla from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 59v

Detail of a miniature of Camilla, Queen of the Volscians, hunting. Image taken from f. 59v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le... more

Boccaccio from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 5

Frontispiece in four panels, of Boccaccio reading a book, Boccaccio presenting the book to Andrea Acciaiuoli, countess of Altavilla, a messenger presenting a letter to Semiramis, and a queen with four female mu... more

Jeanne, queen of Jerusalem and Sicily from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 165v

Miniature of Jeanne, queen of Jerusalem and Sicily, receiving gifts from her subjects. Image taken from f. 165v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De ... more

'Enguborade' (Engeldruda) from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 158v

Miniature of 'Enguborade' (Engeldruda), Florentine virgin, given in marriage to Guido by the Emperor Otho. Image taken from f. 158v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French tr... more

Mithridates VI and Hypsicratea from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 119

Detail of a miniature of Mithridates VI and his wife, Hypsicratea, on horseback. Image taken from f. 119 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris ... more

Virginia in the temple of Pudicitia from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 99v

Miniature of Virginia, wife of Lucius Volumnius, in the temple of Pudicitia. Image taken from f. 99v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris muli... more

'Thamire' (Thamyris), queen of the Scythians from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 78v

Miniature of 'Thamire' (Thamyris), queen of the Scythians, killing Cyrus. Image taken from f. 78v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieri... more

Claudia Quinta from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 118

Miniature of Claudia Quinta using her belt to move the ship containing the image of Pissimunde, mother of the gods. Image taken from f. 118 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous F... more

Nicaula, queen of the Ethiopians from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 71v

Miniature of Nicaula, queen of the Ethiopians, at Solomon's court. Image taken from f. 71v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le... more

Veturia and Volumnia meeting Coriolanus from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 87v

Miniature of Veturia and Volumnia meeting Coriolanus. Image taken from f. 87v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre de fem... more

Death of Olympias from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 97

Miniature of the death of Olympias, queen of Macedonia. Image taken from f. 97 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De claris mulieribus, Le livre de fe... more

Claudia defending Appius Claudius from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 98v

Miniature of Claudia, vestal virgin, defending Appius Claudius in his triumphal car. Image taken from f. 98v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (index De cla... more

Berenice Pontica, queen of Cappadocia from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 112v

Miniature of Berenice Pontica, queen of Cappadocia (daughter of Mithridates V), in a chariot avenging the death of her sons. Image taken from f. 112v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an a... more

Sulpicia swinging a censer from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 105

Miniature of Sulpicia, wife of Q. Fulvius Flaccus, swinging a censer in the temple of Venus Verticordia. Image taken from f. 105 of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French trans... more

'Tierce Emilienne' (Aemilia) from BL Royal 20 C V, f. 115v

Miniature of 'Tierce Emilienne' (Aemilia) wife of Scipio Africanus, witnessing her husband's infidelity. Image taken from f. 115v of Des cleres et nobles femmes, De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French tran... more