There are reasons to assume that Filippo had a favour for Petrarca, cause of various reasons, which are explicitely
shown in the article about the Cary-Yale-deck, all connectable to Petrarca's
stay at Milan at the court of the Visconti 50 years before the deck was painted
(compare also here)
And Petrarca himself had a favour for his
idol Laura on the day presisely long 21 years and therefore for Daphne,
which transformed into a laurel.
Laura – laurel
. The word
daphne in Greek means laurel
And Petrarca himself became poetus
laureatus in 1341 (something, which was of rather great importance
to him - it was his early acceptance as a "great man") and embedded the
Daphne-theme in his
Canzonieri, a collection of poems with totally 366 poems, 266
before Laura’s death (In Vita di Madonna Laura) and 100 after
Laura’s death (In Morte di Madonna Laura, probably according to 366 days
of love inside a year).
Laura alias Daphne – laurel – poetus
Laureatus – the laurel is the sign of triumph - so
Trionfi, that's the logic in which Petrarca must be read, and "Trionfi" became the name of Petrarca's greatest work in his late years.
Poets like to play with words, with symbols and last not
least with numbers, especially as, if you're a poet, you have to count the
syllables in your verses. And, if you're a real poet like Petrarca was,
you do that constantly, cause poems are not only written with the pencil,
but in constant meditation accompanying the daily run - non-poets don't
know that. If you like, you can repeat Petrarcas mental experiment, and
you'll see, that it is still possible to reach the poet's temple inside,
it's still there, where it ever was, however, the daily soap opera in TV
and electric light and the fever in the supermarket will hinder you, and,
anyway, today it's not the time for poets as in Petrarca's days, and all
what you write is likely to fill the wastebasket once.
As already told in the Petrarca-article to the Trionfi, the question is open, if Laura ever was a real person or a poetical fiction. It took Petrarca from 1327 till 1341 totally 14 years to get that laurel, that he wished, and then he took 7 years to work on it with his poems (= totally 21). Then Laura dies according to the informations, that Petrarca has given to us, precisely on Good Friday in 1348 (which was the beginning of the New Year at that time in the region, where Petrarca lived. Precisely Petrarca has seen her for the first time on Good Friday (again) in 1327, 21 years before.
The timing of Petrarca's love to Laura looks like the structure of a short poem with 3 lines and 21 syllables. Well, poets have their jokes.
But our theme here is not Petrarca or Laura, but a card-deck.
a. It is possible, that Filippo did reflect Petrarca and by this indirectly Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
b. It is possible, that Filippo didn’t reflect Petrarca, but saw only Ovid’s
c. Or he just had an own idea about the whole, as
the theme Daphne was common enough and a prefered motive
Plausible seems to me variant A.
fame grew only slowly after his death. Together with Boccaccio he had
developed a piece of future and the rest of culture need a little time to
understand that. Time advanced with the slowliness of handwriting, there
was no printing-machine. The Visconti had reason to see in Petrarca a poet
of their own house. The increasing fame of Petrarca added to their own
fame - naturally they had an interest to sponsor that development.
Filippo Maria - so I've heard - had some young girls, which did read him the Canzonieri
- love-poems of Petrarca. Either this information
relates back to a joke about Filippo Maria having contact to maitresses or
young prostitutes ( reading the
Canzonieri with young girls - sounds like a subtile nightingale-information like celebrating
the rites of Bacchus as hiding
expression for he was drunken day
and night) or it's true, I feel
sure, that there was something, which made him think positively and
sponsoring about Petrarca. And this did lead to this card deck.
if one feels tempted to try to find the original book-painting, I would
research manuscripts with
of Petrarca or with Ovid’s
However, there is absolutely no guarantee, that
this bookpictures ever existed, and when, there is no guarantee, that just
this manuscript did survive.