The History Blog Site” Blog Site Archive” Rarely-seen Dante illustrations digitized


This year marks the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, diplomat, poet and author of the critical Divine Funny. In honor of the event, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence has digitized a rare set of illustrations of the Divine Comedy in hd and made them readily available online for the very first time. The 88 illustrations showing the Divine Funny were produced by Mannerist painter Federico Zuccari in the late 16th century and few of them have actually ever been displayed, and even then just two times, when in 1865 and when in 1993. Really unfamiliar however precious by Dante scholars, the Zuccari illustrations are commonly thought about the most essential illustrations of Dante’s work of art up until Gustave Doré’s burst on the scene in 1861.

Zuccari (likewise spelled Zuccaro) is best understood today for having actually finished the frescoes inside the dome of Florence’s cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore (Vasari began them), however he was popular in his time and quite in need by the crowned heads of Europe. His clients consisted of numerous popes, Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and Philip II of Spain. He was working King Philip, creating frescoes for the El Escorial palace north of Madrid, when he started his illustrations of the Divine Funny in 1586. It took him 2 years to finish all 88 illustrations.

They went into the collection of the Uffizi in 1738, contributed by Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, Electress Palatine, less than a year after she saved the Medici’s art collection for Florence in eternity. Today the pages are very delicate. They are kept in a dark, temperature level and moisture-controlled environment and can just be exposed every 5 years. That makes them all however unattainable to scholars along with to the general public, which is why the Uffizi has actually picked to digitize them in their whole so the works can be studied without putting them at threat.

The museum has actually assembled the digitized Zuccardi illustrations into a journey matching their initial context in a bound volume. Zuccardi’s illustrations are on the best page; left wing are the verses from the Divine Funny being highlighted, plus brief run-throughs composed by Zuccardi himself. The Zuccardi exhibit is presently just readily available in Italian, however an English variation looms. On the other hand, you can browse the illustrations in each of 3 cantos–Inferno, Purgatorio andParadiso Currently readily available in English is an exhibit exploring Dante’s connection to the visual arts and how the poet and his work of art were represented.

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