Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy


The Divine Comedy begins with the meeting between Dante and Virgil, the ancient Roman poet, in a dark wood, represented in the first initial in this manuscript. The two embark on a journey through Hell and Purgatory to Paradise, where Dante is finally reunited with his true love, Beatrice. Many copies were made of this very popular work, with imaginative illustrations depicting the torments of Hell and the joys of Paradise. This copy, produced for Alfonso V, king of Aragon, Naples and Sicily (r. 1416–1458), was illustrated by two artists working in Sienna. The vivid, subtly coloured scenes of Paradise are by Giovanni de Paolo (d. 1482), celebrated for his panel paintings, and the remaining images and decoration are attributed to Priamo della Quercia (d. 1467), brother of the sculptor, Jacopo.

Full title:
Dante Alighieri, Divina commedia
c. 1450, Northern Italy
Dante Alighieri
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Yates Thompson MS 36

Full catalogue details

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