Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Quatriregio (Four Realms): Signatures B2v and B3
    Author: Federico Frezzi (ca. 1346–1416)
    Florence: For Piero Pacini da Pescia, July 26, 1508
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations

    11 1/8 x 8 3/8 x 1/2 in. (28.3 x 21.3 x 1.3 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1921 (21.4.1)

    Like the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, which this novel resembles in its length and the extensiveness of its illustrations, the Quatriregio contains references to the world of pagan mythology. In the first of four realms traversed by the narrator, the realm of Cupid or love, we encounter Diana, Venus, Juno, Vulcan at his forge, and Neptune leading a marine procession.

    In the pages shown here, the narrator observes as the sylvan deities—satyrs, centaurs, and dryads—join the nymphs of Diana to celebrate the festival of the goddess. The illustration on the right shows the nymphs paying homage to their queen, the goddess of the hunt. As is characteristic of Florentine art, the flowing hair and drapery of the nymphs recall depictions of bacchantes in ancient Greek and Roman relief sculpture. The satyr carrying another on his back also draws on an ancient model, a Roman sarcophagus that was well known to artists, inspiring, for example, the piggyback figures in Mantegna's Bacchanals (29.44.15; 1986.1159). In spite of these classical elements, this poem, composed around 1400 by a Dominican monk, has a clear didactic aim. As the pilgrim travels into other realms, he will enter an almost purely Christian universe.

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  • Quatriregio (Four Realms): Signatures B2v and B3
    Author: Federico Frezzi (ca. 1346–1416)
    Florence: For Piero Pacini da Pescia, July 26, 1508
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations

    11 1/8 x 8 3/8 x 1/2 in. (28.3 x 21.3 x 1.3 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1921 (21.4.1)

    Quatriregio (Four Realms): Signature M6
    Author: Federico Frezzi (ca. 1346–1416)
    Florence: For Piero Pacini da Pescia, July 26, 1508
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations

    11 1/8 x 8 3/8 x 1/2 in. (28.3 x 21.3 x 1.3 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1921 (21.4.1)

    After leaving the realm of love, the narrator enters Hell, where he observes the varied tortures of the damned. He is then led by Minerva through the land of the Seven Deadly Sins. In the woodcut shown here, the narrator meets again the god who had earlier caused him so much frustration, inciting his desire for the chaste nymphs of Diana. As Cupid flees and hides from the pilgrim, he recognizes the cruel nature of the god of love.

    Quatriregio (Four Realms): Signature n1v
    Author: Federico Frezzi (ca. 1346–1416)
    Florence: For Piero Pacini da Pescia, July 26, 1508
    Book with printed text and woodcut illustrations

    11 1/8 x 8 3/8 x 1/2 in. (28.3 x 21.3 x 1.3 cm)
    Rogers Fund, 1921 (21.4.1)

    Shortly after meeting Cupid, the pilgrim encounters Venus, who is revealed to him in her true essence, no longer a beautiful goddess but a demon, equipped with talons for feet—the embodiment of the deadly sin of Lust. Thus the Christian moralizing intent of this book also reveals itself clearly. In the last realm, the narrator will travel to Heaven, encounter God, and be introduced to the seven Virtues.


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