SCHOLAR ON THE TRAIL OF Petrarch has discovered two rare books containing hand-drawn images that offer a glimpse of the lost fourteenth-century frescoes from the Hall of Famous Men.
The frescoes, destroyed by fire, were commissioned to accompany Petrarch's book of Roman heroes, Lives of Famous Men.
The discovery by art historian Lilian Armstrong is detailed in her new book of essays, Studies of Renaissance Miniatures in Venice, forthcoming this spring. While doing research funded by an NEH fellowship, she unearthed two copies of the 1476 edition of Petrarch's Lives-one in the British Library and one in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. The edition is