The album amicorum, or album of friends, is a singular visual example of early modern travelers' fascination with swiftly changing fashions, regional customs, family lineage, and manuscript decoration. A type of souvenir scrapbook, the album amicorum preserves in its pages colored depictions of local fashions in dress and various regional customs witnessed while traveling. Along with these miniatures, the album combines sententious mottoes, heraldic shields, and personalized inscriptions from friends met during one's travels. The album owner and friends display their newly acquired humanist education by quoting from ancient, medieval, and contemporary authors in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, French, and Italian, often on the theme of everlasting friendship. This essay looks closely at one album, owned by a German student attending law school at the University of Padua from 1575 to 1579, in order to determine the organizational structure of the album amicorum and how the visual material interacts with the written mottoes and inscriptions.
Fashions of Friendship in an Early Modern Illustrated Album Amicorum: British Library, MS Egerton 1191
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Margaret F. Rosenthal; Fashions of Friendship in an Early Modern Illustrated Album Amicorum: British Library, MS Egerton 1191. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 September 2009; 39 (3): 619–641. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-2009-007
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