Essential reading for an understanding of the medieval poetry of Galicia and Portugal.
Antonio García Patiño’s illustrations recreate poems by Martin Codax, Johan Zorro, Pai Soarez de Taveiros, Pero Meogo and other troubadours and jugglers, all of whom describe a woman’s longing for her absent lover in straightforward, risqué poetry.
The traditional elements of this genre are also present: sadness at being abandoned, bucolic images and the ever-watchful mother.
Cantigas de Amigo features nineteen Galician-Portuguese medieval poems illustrated with original paintings by Antonio García Patiño. As Francisco Rico points out in the prologue, Patiño’s work is remarkable for his masterful and intuitive ability to reflect the overall harmony of that universe. Choral chant appeals to him as much as or more than the individual notes. Rather than sketching the colourful or fabulous details of one text or another, the artist’s eye, whilst not scorning them, focuses on the atmosphere suggested by the whole.