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The Core Curriculum

La Divina Commedia di Dante, by Domenico di Michelino, 1465

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La Divina Commedia di Dante, by Domenico di Michelino, 1465.

Dante holds his Divine Comedy between his beloved city of Florence and the realms of his imagined afterlife  in this fresco found in the nave of the Duomo of Florence. The city is closed off to Dante in this fresco, as it was in life when he was exiled in 1301; he was never again able to return home.  

The inscription reads:

Qui caelum cecinit, mediumque imumque tribunal,
Lustravitque animo cuncta poeta suo,
Doctus adest Dantes, sua quem Florentia saepe
sensit consiliis ac pietate patrem.
Nil potuit tanto mors sava nocere poeta
Quem vivum virtus, carmen, imago facit.

Who sang of Heaven, and of the regions twain,
Midway and in the abyss, where souls are judged,
Surveying all in spirit, he is here,
Dante, our master-poet. Florence found
Oft-times in him a father, wise and strong
In his devotion. Death could bring no harm
To such a bard. For him true life have gained
His worth, his verse and this his effigy.

(translation by E.H. Plumptre, in his The Divina Commedia and Canzoniere, 1899)

Domenico di Michelino, Dante and His Poem. 1465, tempera on panel. Florence, Santa Maria del Fiore.


Source: Domenico di Michelino: La Divina Commedia di Dante. Photo by Jastrow. via Wikimedia Commons.

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