The Liber Physiognomiae is a miscellany of medieval astrological and medical treatises, reviewed at the dawning of the humanistic age. The descriptions of the days and of the four seasons are followed by the twelve signs of the zodiac, one per page, drawn together with the text of the horoscopes outlining the character and the positive and negative events in the lives of men and women in relation to the period of birth. The author of the texts, the illuminator, and the purchaser are still unknown.
Predicting the Events in People's Lives
The watercolored figures at the bottom of the page represent the influence of planets on mankind. The central and final parts of the codex consist of genealogical tables, the biblical text of prophet Daniel's dream (with astrological interpretations), and medical notes by Pietro d'Abano, whose lectures at the University of Padua in the early 1300s are considered to be the source of the Liber.
The plates with watercolored drawings are the work of an artist influenced by Pisanello. Scholars tend to think that the codex was made in Padua, given the direct references to the frescoes of Guariento in the Eremitani presbytery, but recent hypotheses suggest the work was commissioned by Leonello d'Este, Duke of Modena and Reggio Emilia from 1441 to 1450.