Images of Dante - 2

On to the fifteenth century, and the increasing popularity of portraiture. How Florence must have regretted their treatment of Dante!

Andrea del Castagno - Uffizi, Florence. c1450.

Sandro Botticelli. Private collection. c 1495

Domenico di Michelino, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence. Probably the best known image of Dante.
The Inferno is on the left, Purgatory in the centre, and Heaven on the right, looking suspiciously like Florence.

Luca Signorelli. Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto, c 1500.
One of a series showing great poets and philosophers.

Another interesting source of Dante images can be found in manuscripts. Printing did not arrive in Europe until the 1460s. For the first 150 years copies of The Divine Comedy were reproduced and illustrated by hand.

Giovanni di Paolo. Manuscript c 1440, now in the British Library.
Paradise Canto VIII: Dante is led by Beatrice to the next circle, bypassing the worshipped Venus.

Paradise Canto IX. A devil announces the offences of the powerful of this world from a tower of the Duomo in Florence. Dante is lifted in the air by Beatrice and sees the heroine of love, Cunizza of Treviso, who appears in an aura of light.


Franco de Russo. Manuscript c 1480. Vatican Library.
Purgatory, cantos X- XII. Dante and Virgil pass those tainted with the sin of pride.

Guglielmo Giraldi. MS c 1480. Vatican Library.
Inferno Canto X. Dante and Farinata stand before a sarcophagus in which are Cavalcanti and a further unidentified figure.

Unknown miniaturist. MS c 1380. Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice.
Paradise Canto I. Beatrice points out the sun to Dante.

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