Dante Historiato by Federico Zuccaro

Dante Historiato by Federigo Zuccaro – Salerno Editrice – Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)

Spain β€” 1586–1588

Dante's Divine Comedy in a masterpiece of the Spanish Renaissance: the opus magnum of the Trecento in 88 haunting drawings in red and black, created by the erudite Federico Zuccaro

  1. 88 of the finest depictions of the famous Divinia Commedia by Dante Alighieri (ca. 1265–1321)

  2. The detailed drawings were created by Federico Zuccaro (1540–1609) partly with pencil and sanguine, partly with pen and watercolors

  3. Coveted by bibliophiles like Paolo Giordano Orsini (1541–1585) and his wife Isabella Romola de' Medici (1542–1576)

Dante Historiato by Federico Zuccaro

Formerly 5,200  β‚¬
Special Offer until 01/31/2024 (like new) 2,499  β‚¬
  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Dante Historiato by Federico Zuccaro

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) is a major work of medieval literature and also the cornerstone of the modern Italian literary tradition. After its completion in 1320, Dante's opus magnum appeared in numerous splendidly illuminated manuscripts. As an connoisseur and lover of the literary masterpiece, the Spanish Renaissance artist Federico Zuccaro (1540–1609) created 88 full-page illustrations of unique aesthetics for a printed edition from the 1580s. While the magnificent drawings of heaven and hell were made using pencil and red chalk, also known as sanguine, the depictions of purgatory were executed as washed pen-and-ink drawings. They bring the spectacular and often terrifying scenes of the Divina Commedia vividly before the viewer's eyes and make the large-format printed work an unparalleled work of art of the Spanish Renaissance.

Dante Historiato by Federico Zuccaro

This incredible work of the Spanish Renaissance presents 88 of the finest depictions of the famous Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri (ca. 1265–1321). The detailed drawings were made by the Italian painter Federico Zuccaro (1540–1609) between 1586 and 1588, after he had summoned to the Royal Monastery of El Escorial by King Philip II of Spain (1527–98). He had already established an international reputation through his work as a portrait painter at the English court of Elizabeth I and the decoration of the Cappella Paolina in the Vatican. Accordingly, Zuccaro ran in the circles of the leading artists and intellectuals of his time and had a deep, personal understanding of Dante's magnum opus.

Great Art of Unique Aesthetics

His 88 elaborate drawings illustrate the work in its entirety with 28 depictions of Hell, 49 of Purgatory and 11 of Paradise. Zuccaro created those of Hell and Paradise with sanguine and pencil, while he executed those of Purgatory as washed pen and ink drawings, thus creating a work of unique aesthetics. Moreover, the pictorial works, which interpret Dante's tales freely and innovatively, reflect Zuccaro's deep understanding and intellectual analysis of this milestone in literary history.

The Magnum Opus of Italian Literature

Zuccaro produced the drawings for a printed edition of Dante's Divine Comedy published in the 1580s, the text of which accompanies the pictures as a autograph transcription by Zuccaro. In this magnum opus, which like no other work can be regarded as a fundamental text of modern Italian, the reader is taken on a journey through hell, which finally ends with the entrance to paradise. During this journey, the reader encounters around 600 souls from mythology, poetry and history who, depending on their deeds, have to endure a wide variety of punishments in hell or are already allowed to stay in heavenly paradise.

The Precious Possessions of Great Patrons of the Arts

When Zuccaro died in 1609, the collection of his valuable original drawings initially came into the hands of the patron and connoisseur of the arts Paolo Giordano Orsini (1541–1585) and his wife Isabella Romola de' Medici (1542–1576). From there, they became the property of the Medici family and eventually found their way into the world-famous galleries of the Uffizi in Florence.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Dante historiato da Federico Zuccaro
Federico Zuccaro: Dante Historiato
Size / Format
160 leaves (88 tables) / 49.5 Γ— 64.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
1586–1588
Language
Illustrations
88 drawings
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Dante Historiato by Federigo Zuccaro – Salerno Editrice – Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)
Salerno Editrice – Rome, 2004
Limited Edition: 699 copies
Detail Picture

Dante Historiato by Federico Zuccaro

The Third Circle of Hell

In the third circle of Hell, the three-headed hellhound Cerberus awaits Dante and Vergil, dedicated to the cruel punishment of souls who have been guilty of gluttony in life. The giant, musclebound beast stands with its clawed paws on a diffuse sea of naked human figures writhing on the hard ground. Meanwhile, enormous hailstones pelt the souls and their doom in a hellstorm from a hellmouth at the top of the panel.

Dante Historiato by Federigo Zuccaro – Salerno Editrice – Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)
Single Page

Dante Historiato by Federico Zuccaro

Dante Enters the Vestibule of Hell

In the center of this picture page, Dante, holding Virgil's hand, passes through the eerie Gates of Hell, guarded by skeletons with scythes and a demonic mask. Above the gate, a winged creature from Hell with claw-like hands presents Dante's gruesome description of the entrance to Hell, ending with the famous verse "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Dante's guide points to a group of writhing, naked figures on the left edge of the image, showing the Uncommitted - the tortured souls of people who have stood up for no one but themselves in life. Complementarily, the outcasts appear on the right, who have taken no side in the Rebellion of Angels and must eternally endure an unclassified existence on the edge of Hell. Thereby the white flag symbolizes their pursuit of ever-shifting self-interest.

Dante Historiato by Federigo Zuccaro – Salerno Editrice – Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (Florence, Italy)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Dante historiato da Federico Zuccaro

Salerno Editrice – Rome, 2004

Publisher: Salerno Editrice – Rome, 2004
Limited Edition: 699 copies
Binding: Brown leather binding with blind tooling and golden ornament
Commentary: 1 volume by Andrea Mazzuchi
Language: Italian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Formerly 5,200  β‚¬
Special Offer until 01/31/2024 (like new) 2,499  β‚¬
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