The Triumph of Love, from The Triumphs of Petrarch

Series/Portfolio: Triumphs of Petrarch

Artist: Francesco Rosselli (Florence 1448–1508/27 Venice (?))

Date: 1480–1500

Medium: Engraving; first state of two (Bartsch)

Dimensions: sheet: 10 5/16 x 6 3/4 in. (26.2 x 17.2 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1925

Accession Number: 25.2.33


This representation of Love's conquest is based on Petrarch's 'Triumphs', a poem that had already been illustrated in manuscript illuminations, paintings, and in at least four other series of engravings. In his description of Cupid's procession, Petrarch compares the winged nude boy to a Roman victor who, bow in hand, is mounted on a chariot of fire pulled by four snow-white steeds. The poet's enumeration of Love's prisoners includes the hero Hercules—shown here carrying his column—and the philandering Jupiter, who is chained to the front of the chariot.