Monday, November 05, 2007

Dante`s Purgatory

GIRALDI, Guglielmo
(active 1445–1489 in Ferrara)
Frontispiece to Purgatory by Dante
Tempera and gold on vellum, 378 x 241 mm
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome

The picture shows the frontispiece to Purgatory from Federigo Montefeltre's personal hand-written and illuminated copy of Dante's Divine Comedy. The manuscript was written by Matteo de' Congugi of Volterra

The main scene, showing Dante and his guide Vergil meeting with Cato, is framed within a pilastered niche which is itself enclosed within columns on high pedestals.

The three small scenes are Dante Bathing his Hands in the Dew of the Meadow; Vergil Wiping Away the Tears from his Face; and Vergil and Dante on the Shore with the Mountain of Purgatory.

The Duke's arms and other symbols and mottos play a major role in the decorative scheme