Florio, the son of a pagan king, and Biancifiore, a Christian orphan, are the protagonists of this story. Growing up together, the pair fall in love but are separated by a series of misfortunes. Overcoming adversity through adventure, the couple are reunited and the story has a happy ending.
The tale is based on the 12th-century French courtly epic Floire et Blancheflor, a popular romance of the famous lovers. Various versions of this romance circulated throughout Europe and Boccaccio’s represents one of the first Italian prose novels.
Fortunately, this huge series of woodcuts is of high quality, revealing an anonymous but accomplished artist's work. The illustrations show a combination of indoor and outdoor scenes, with enclosed gardens, ships, and landscapes also making an appearance. Hochfeder likely commissioned the woodcuts in a Nuremberg workshop, probably some time before he moved to Metz, and took the blocks with him. A Nuremberg style is evident in the cuts, and, moreover, the arts of printing and engraving were especially flourishing there, producing such celebrated illustrated books, as the Nuremberg chronicle.