rennaisance

Essays

Petrarch's Plague: Love, Death, and Friendship in a Time of Pandemic

Petrarch's Plague: Love, Death, and Friendship in a Time of Pandemic

The Italian poet and scholar Francesco Petrarch lived through the most deadly pandemic in recorded history, the Black Death of the 14th century, which saw up to 200 million die from plague across Eurasia and North Africa. Through the unique record of letters and other writings Petrarch left us, Paula Findlen explores how he chronicled, commemorated, and mourned his many loved ones who succumbed, and what he might be able to teach us today. more

Petrified Waters: The Artificial Grottoes of the Renaissance and Beyond

Petrified Waters: The Artificial Grottoes of the Renaissance and Beyond

Idling alongside the waters of artificial grottoes, visitors found themselves in lush, otherworldly settings, where art and nature, pleasure and peril, and humans and nymphs could, for a time, coexist. Laura Tradii spelunks through the handmade caves of the Italian Renaissance and their reception abroad, illuminating how these curious spaces transformed across the centuries. more