A lover's confession

A lover's confession

John Gower

early 15th century

England

Manuscript

This illustration comes from a fine manuscript of John Gower’s major English poem Confessio amantis (A Lover's Confession), written at the end of the fourteenth century. Here the poet’s alter ego Amans (or Lover) kneels to confess his sins in love to Genius, the priest of Venus. It turns out that Amans is guilty in some way of all seven deadly sins, and Genius provides exemplary stories in verse that comment, often comically or ironically, on Amans' predicament. Many of these stories are in the form of romances, which makes Gower's poem also a storehouse of romance narratives. The illustration here has been attributed to the skilled artist Herman Scheerre, who probably came to work in London from Cologne.

Comments

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