The "muse" of Petrarch. According to tradition, the daughter of Audibert de Noves and wife of Count Hugues de Sade (to whom she bore 11 children).
In Avignon, in 1327, Petrarch first met and fell in love with Laura, the woman for whom his unrequited love was to inspire so much great poetry (unrequited, since she was married to another man).
Inspired by Laura, Petrarch wrote numerous love poems, titled Rime in Vita e Morte di Madonna Laura (or Canzoniere). When Laura died of the Black Death, in 1348 in Avignon, Petrarch wrote:
"Laura, illustrious by her virtues and long celebrated in my songs, first greeted my eyes in the days of my youth, the 6th of April, 1327, at Avignon; and, in the same city, at the same hour of the same 6th of April, but in the year 1348, withdrew from life, whilst I was at Verona, unconscious of my loss ....
"Her chaste and lovely body was interred on the evening of the same day in the Church of the Minorites; her soul, as I believe, returned to heaven whence it came."
Some scholars have argued that Laura was a fictive person invented by Petrarch, to serve as the unattainable ideal of his passions. This is not, however, the general scholarly consensus.