Attributed to Thomas da Modena

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Attributed to Thomas da Modena
(132/6-1379)

Sketchbook, 1360–80

Pen and brown ink, with brown wash and some watercolor, on parchment
9 1/8 x 6 7/8 inches (232 x 176 mm)

Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1924

II, 2–25 (folio 2v)
Item description: 

The Morgan sketchbook comprises delicately rendered drawings mostly in pen and brown ink, some with added wash (in green, violet, or red), on fourteen goatskin leaves. Among the various topics depicted, amorous scenes are also featured, some of which find their parallel in health handbooks and other works illustrating courtship rituals.

Amorous scenes are also featured, some of which find their parallel in health handbooks and other works illustrating courtship rituals. While the embracing couple on folio 13 (not repr.) has more daring counterparts in the Paris and Liège examples of the Tacuina, the representation of lovers in bed on the reverse of the Library's folio 2v (folio 2v repr.) is unprecedented and seems risqué, even by today's standards.