‘Designed for reading: The RVF and Trionfi in early print, 1471-1501’

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talkResearch


This paper will consider the visual design of the early printed tradition of Petrarch’s vernacular works, constructing visual affinities and genealogies between the various editions, and problematizing them in relation to each other and the printed works of the other two corone during the same period. Produced in large quantities, in a variety of formats over a wide geographical space extending far beyond the printing centre of Venice, these very varied editions articulate the competing concerns of different text-producers and their intended reading communities. The space of my enquiry is situated between paratexts and pictures, on the surface of the page itself, and I will show how the page’s individual textual and paratextual components — both verbal and visual — and the ways in which they interact and dialogue with each other inside and beyond the book, allow us to map both their synchronic reflection of localized concerns, and the diachronic evolution of the Petrarchan edition in the first decades of its print incarnations. Drawing on approaches from book history, graphic design, and digital humanities, I will assess whether an analysis which emphasizes the visual and informational, rather than the philological, can offer us new perspectives on Petrarch and Petrarchism, both in the fifteenth and twenty-first centuries.
Period26 Nov 202027 Nov 2020
Event titlePetrarchism, Paratexts, Pictures: : How They Build Cultural Communities
Event typeConference
LocationBerlin, Germany, BerlinShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational