5. The poet facing Purgatory in the distance, represented as a pyramidal
mountain, while he puts a protective hand over Florence.
in his hand the open book, at the pages referring to the Canto XXV of Paradiso,
beginning "Se mai continga che ’l poema sacro al quale ha posto mano
e cielo e terra,..."
If it should happen … If this sacred poem
this work so shared by heaven and by earth
Unknown Master, Florence, Maître inconnu, Florence
Allegorical portrait of Dante
Portrait allégorique de Dante
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
7. the poet’s memorial in Florence cathedral ...
Dante holding a copy of The Divine Comedy as he points out sinners descending to Hell,
the mountain of Purgatory, at the top of which is Paradise,
the concentric spheres of planets rise to heavenly Paradise
the city of Florence with Brunelleschi’s famous dome
Domenico di Michelino
Dante et la Divine Comédie
Dante and the Divine Comedy
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence
11. The Divine Comedy.
Dante himself visiting the three realms of the afterlife in the company of the shade of the Roman poet Virgil in Hell and Purgatory,
and Beatrice in Paradise.
12. The poet at the start of his journey, when he meets the spirit of the great Roman poet Virgil,
who is to be his guide until Dante is reunited with his beloved Beatrice in the Garden of Eden
on top of Purgatory.
three savage beasts deep in a forest ...
Dante recognizes Virgil and asks him to help by showing him a way out of the wood.
Virgil tells him that the animals block all ways apart from the one which they are bound to take.
He offers to lead Dante safely on, but warns him that they will pass through the eternity of Hell.
Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot
Dante and Virgil
Dante et Virgile
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston
15. Phlegyas ferries Virgil and Dante across the river Styx …
This is the fifth Circle of Hell, that of the wrathful condemned to dwell
in the murky waters of Styx.
The troubled waters, the bodies of the damned clinging to the boat, the dark sky,
the burning city envelop the two poets.
La Barque de Dante (Dante et Virgile aux Enfers)
The Barque of Dante (Dante and Virgil in Hell)
Musée du Louvre, Paris
19. One of the extant ninety-two drawings that were originally
included in the illustrated manuscript
of Dante's Divine Comedy.
The boat them crosses the river Styx, taking Dante
and his guide Virgil to the First Circle of Limbo ...
Map of Hell
La Carte de l'Enfer
Biblioteca Apostólica Vaticana, Vatican City
23. the second circle of hell, reserved for those guilty of lust ...
Dante and Virgil
the murdered lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta
Les Ombres de Francesca da Rimini et de Paolo Malatesta
apparaissent à Dante et à Virgile
Dante and Virgil Encountering the Shades of Francesca de Rimini
and Paolo in the Underworld
Musée du Louvre, Paris
26. The Third Circle …
Dante sees Cerberus, the terrifying three-headed monster
that guards the circle of Hell where gluttons are punished.
The Tate Gallery, London
29. Dante and Virgil encountering the ‘Wood of the Suicides’ ...
The souls of those who have died by suicide have been transformed
into trees as punishment.
Harpies, mythological birds with the head of women, feed upon them.
The Wood of the Self-Murderers: The Harpies and the Suicides
Les harpies dans la forêt des suicides
Tate Britain, London
32. The eighth circle of Hell, the circle for falsifiers and counterfeiters.
A fight between two damned souls: Capocchio, a heretic and alchemist
is attacked and bitten on the neck by Gianni Schicchi who had usurped the identity
of a dead man in order to fraudulently claim his inheritance.
Dante and Virgil plunged in darkness, look at them
and behind …
a devil smiles.
Dante et Virgile
Dante and Virgil In Hell
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
35. Virgil and Dante at the last of circles, the ninth,
for those who committed sins of malice, such as treachery.
These sinners are shown partially frozen into an icy lake,
with additional blocks of ice scattered around.
Dante et Virgile dans le neuvième cercle de l'enfer
Dante and Virgil in the ninth circle of hell
Musée de Brou, Bourg-en-Bresse
39. Dante and Beatrice contemplate the highest heaven, the Empyrean.
Paradiso, Canto XXXI:
the Empyrean, the highest heaven, it appears in the form of an enormous rose,
the petals of which house the souls of the faithful.
Around the center, angels fly like bees carrying the nectar of divine love.
Beatrice appears near the end of the Purgatorio to take over as guide
from the Latin poet Virgil because, as a pagan, Virgil cannot enter Paradise.
Beatrice must lead the pilgrim into heaven.
Dante et Béatrice au Paradis, Rose Céleste, chant XXXI de la Divine Comédie
Rosa Celeste, Dante and Beatrice gaze upon the highest Heaven, The Empyrean
40. Where Virgil is understood as human reason and philosophy, Beatrice represents religious knowledge and passion:
theology, faith, contemplation, and grace.
Only divine faith can completely lead the soul to God.
When they reach the Empyrean, she leaves him to take her proper place there.
Saint Bernard guides Dante for the final portion of his journey.
Bernard prays to the Virgin Mary for the completion of Dante’s journey.
Dante then sees past the light to understand how the universe is held together by God’s love.
He has now completed his journey ...
42. Vita Nuova.
Dante’s autobiographical ‘Vita Nuova’ recounts the progress of his intense but mystical love for Beatrice Portinari.
Dante feels a platonic love for Beatriz, and his greatest happiness is to be greeted by her. But Beatrice refuses to greet him.
Love appears, and in his speech, which the poet does not understand, Beatrice's death is prophesied.
Dante makes it his life's goal to express his love for Beatrice through poetry.
43. Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare
la donna mia, quand’ella altrui saluta,
ch’ogne lingua devèn, tremando, muta,
e li occhi no l’ardiscon di guardare.
So gentle and so pure appears
my lady when she greets others,
that every tongue trembles and is mute,
and their eyes do not dare gaze at her.
Dante Alighieri Vita Nuova Chapter XXVI.
44. Dante carefully conceals his love for Beatrice by openly courting another lady.
When this reaches Beatrice's ears, she refuses to greet him.
Beatrice and two other women walk past the Santa Trinita Bridge in Florence.
Beatrice wears a white dress and walks beside her friend Monna Vanna,
with Beatrice's maidservant slightly behind.
Beatrice, looks away from Dante.
Dante and Beatrice
Dante et Béatrice
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
48. Beatrice, disapproving of Dante's attentions to another woman,
refuses to greet him when they meet at a marriage feast.
Dante dressed in a red tunic and leaning on a wall frescoed with light blue angels.
A small girl wearing a gold colored dress offers him flowers.
Dante gazes at his beloved as he passes, but Beatrice, flanked by two bridesmaids,
looks at him haughtily.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Beatrice meeting Dante at a marriage feast, denies him her salutation
Béatrice, rencontrant Dante lors d'une fête de mariage, lui refuse sa salutation ou Béatrice
refusant de saluer Dante
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
51. the premonitory dream that announces to Dante the death of his lady ...
He sees in a dream Beatrice’s dead body resting on a funeral bed.
The floor of the room is dotted with poppy flowers,
symbolizing the dream of death.
The angelic figure is the embodiment of love that reappears
throughout the Vita Nuova.
Dante dreams that he is led by Love to the death-bed of Beatrice Portinari,
the object of his unrequited passion.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante’s Dream on the Day of the Death of Beatrice
Le songe de Dante le jour de la mort de Béatrice
Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection, Dundee
54. The Italian poet Dante's despair at the death of his beloved Beatrice
the grief of Rossetti at the death of his wife Elizabeth Siddal.
Beatrice in an attitude of ecstasy, with her hands before her and her lips parted.
The shadowy figure of Dante looks across at Love, portrayed as an angel
and holding in her palm the flame of Beatrice's life.
Beatrice's death, which occurred at nine o'clock on 9th June 1290,
is foreseen in the sundial which casts its shadow over the number nine.
The Ponte Vecchio signifies the city of Florence, the setting for Dante's story.
58. Black crows fly in flocks symbolizing death ...
Dante’s account of Beatrice’s death to a group of newly-arrived pilgrims.
The winged figure of Love crouches in grief,
poppies scattered in front of him, a reference to Rossetti’s paintings.
Marie Spartali Stillman
The Pilgrim Folk
Le peuple pèlerin
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
60. Dante himself died in Ravenna on 14 September 1321 of quartan malaria contracted while returning from a diplomatic mission
to the Republic of Venice.
He was buried in Ravenna, but the city of Florence repeatedly asked for his remains to be returned there to be buried in a tomb
which they had built for him in the Basilica of Santa Croce.
The remains of the most famous Florentine are still in Ravenna to this day.