The Divine Commedia di Alfonso d’Aragona, original preserved in the British Library of London, with the signature Ms. Yates Thompson 36.
This exceptional manuscript of the Divine Comedy, a masterpiece of Dante Alighieri and Italian literature, richly decorated with more than one hundred splendid miniatures and historical initials placed at the beginning of each cantiga, was written and mined in Tuscany in the mid-fifteenth century on request of an illustrious patron, the King of Naples Alfonso de Aragón, called the Magnanimous. The manuscript is especially precious because it is one of the few that fully illustrates the three cantigas of Dante’s poem. An extraordinary and luxurious codex that has been called the pride of a great sovereign.
The sumptuous set of miniatures of the Divine Comedy is the work of two great different miniaturist artists, both from Siena: Lorenzo di Pietro, called “il Vecchietta”, author of all the initials and scenes of Hell and Purgatory, mined between the years 1442 and 1450, and Giovanni di Paolo, who in the decoration of Paradise translated into fabulous and unreal environments his absorbed and absorbed spiritual dimension.
In the 115 miniaturized scenes, placed at the foot of the pages, the different inspiration of the two artists is clearly perceived: Vecchietta’s brightest and most dramatic vein contrasts the bluish sharpness of the skies of Giovanni di Paolo, the stunning beauty of its landscapes, inspired by the Tuscan countryside, and the unifying presence, in most of the miniatures, of the paired figures of Dante and Beatriz. Both create a really bright contrast of atmospheres.
To the extraordinarily suggestive character of the miniatures it is also necessary to add the richness of the gold elements that decorate in a refined way the framework of all the illustrations, in particular those of Paradise, conferring a special luminosity to the described scenes, thanks to the brightness of the gold. In addition, the elegant calligraphy of the text, written in a column and embellished by the initials, is perfectly legible, this being a peculiarity that allows the pleasure of reading the verses to be attached to the charm of the illustrations.
Extraordinary facsimile edition of Franco Cosimo Panini Editore in his collection “The Impossible Library”, composed of the most extraordinary mined codices of the Renaissance.
Numbered and certified edition, limited to 750 copies. Facsimile format 26 x 37 x 7 cm. 396 pages Accompanied by volume of comments (texts in Italian). Luxuriously bound facsimile and presented in a closed case lined with embroidered fabric.
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