SIMONE MARTINI
(b. 1280/85, Siena, d. 1344, Avignon)

Petrarch's Virgil (title page)

c. 1336
Manuscript (S.P. Arm. 10), 295 x 200 mm
Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan

Thanks to Petrarch's sonnets we know that the poet and the painter became very good friends. Simone must undoubtedly have been influenced by the proto-Humanist cultural world of Petrarch, and we can see clearly how the manuscript illumination of Petrarch's Virgil in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan (folio 1v), with its classical and naturalistic overtones (sophisticated gestures, white cloth drapery, the delicate figures of the shepherd and the peasant), anticipates the typical style of early 15th-century French manuscript illumination.