A masterpiece of the Italian Trecento: the Dante manuscript illuminated by Cristoforo Cortese, the most important Venetian illuminator of the late Gothic period

Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano

Venice or Bologna (Italy) — 1392-1393 or 1399-1400

Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano

Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano

Venice or Bologna (Italy) — 1392-1393 or 1399-1400

  1. Commissioned Iacopo Gradenifo (1725-92), this manuscript is an outstanding specimen of the Trecento

  2. It was decorated by Cristoforo Cortese (ca. 1400-1445), the most significant late-Gothic Venetian miniaturist

  3. This specimen of Dante's (ca. 1265-1321) magnum opus also features a commentary by Jacopo della Lana (1290-1365)

Divina Commedia dei Malatesta

Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano

Dante Meets Virgil

The work begins on the night before Good Friday in the year 1300 with the author/protagonist lost in a dark wood and being pursued by a lion, a leopard, and a she-wolf. The forest represents sin and each of the three beasts represents a different kind of sin: the self-indulgent, the violent, and the malicious. He is rescued by the esteemed ancient Roman author Virgil, who then accompanies Dante on his journey to the underworld. Hell is later divided according to these classifications.

Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano

Alternative Titles:
  • Divina Commedia dei Malatesta
  • Divina Commedia - Codice gambalunghiano
  • Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
  • Divina commedia
  • Estense Divine Comedy
  • Göttliche Komödie
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

This impressive manuscript of Dante Alighieri’s famous magnum opus presents itself as an outstanding testimonial to the Dante-illustration of the Trecento. A commission of Iacopo Gradenifo – and also known as la Divina Commedia Gradenighiana after this Venetian poet – the manuscript was decorated by Cristoforo Cortese, the most significant late-Gothic Venetian miniaturist. In this way, one can still have the impressive experience of Dante’s Divine Comedy!

Divine Commedy - Gambalunga Codex

This impressive manuscript of Dante Alighieri’s famous magnum opus presents itself as an outstanding testimonial to the Dante-illustration of the Trecento. A commission of Iacopo Gradenifo – and also known as la Divina Commedia Gradenighiana after this Venetian poet – the manuscript was decorated by Cristoforo Cortese, the most significant late-Gothic Venetian miniaturist. In this way, one can still have the impressive experience of Dante’s Divine Comedy!

From the Hand of a Master of Illumination

The manuscript, originating in Venice in the 1390’s, is gorgeously embellished in the gothic style of illumination. The bright colors of the miniatures glow with precious gold, which is expertly inset for accentuation. For example, elegantly minimized but very expressive miniatures show the primary characters of the text and thus demonstrate the mastery of their creator: Cristoforo Cortese, the important late-Gothic Venetian miniaturist. Cortese made 23 miniatures for the manuscript. This visual adornment was expanded upon by additional paintings from the Master of the Brussels Initials, to whom are attributed the first page and a few other paintings in the book.

Outstanding Testimonial to the Trecento

The manuscript either arose ca. 1392/93 or 1399-1400 as a commission of the Venetian poet Iacopo Gradenigo, called il Belletto, who also gave directions for its precise design. The magnum opus of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), the famous Divina Commedia, is accompanied here by a commentary by Jacopo della Lana. The Italian text of this milestone of world literature is wonderfully presented on 252, 39.5 x 25.5 cm pages. This edition of the Divine Comedy is an outstanding attestation of the Dante illustration of the Trecento!

A Variety of Owners and Names

Today the manuscript is a part of the Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga in Rimini. It is additionally named la Divina Commedia Gradenighiana after its famous patron. An additional stop in the library of Carol Malatesta earned the manuscript of the Divine Comedy an additional designation as the Codex Malatesta. Finally in the 18th century – in the year 1793 – it came into the Biblioteca Gambalunga as a part of the collection of Cardinal Joseph Garampi.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Divina Commedia dei Malatesta
Divina Commedia - Codice gambalunghiano
Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Divina commedia
Estense Divine Comedy
Göttliche Komödie
Size / Format
252 pages / 39.5 x 25.5 cm
Date
1392-1393 or 1399-1400
Style
Gothic
Language
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Divina Commedia dei Malatesta

Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano

Patron Page

Rather than containing a portrait of the patron, Iacopo Gradenigo, the opening page of this Dante manuscript contains his family’s coat of arms, which were subsequently painted over by a later owner, the Sanudo family: a blue band across a silver field, now tarnished. The text of this first page in the manuscript is framed by wonderful tendrils in primary colors and gold leaf.

Other original symbols in the bas-de-page miniature still point to the patron: two scrolls with now illegible mottos, two helmets with red fringed pavilions and crests, a griffin crowned with gold leaf, and a bust of a nude man with a beard with a white band around his shoulders. Although damaged in places, the uniform text was obviously written by an expert hand.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano“

Divina Commedia dei Malatesta
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
Divine Comedy - Dante Gradenighiano – ms. SC-MS. 1162 (D II 41) – Biblioteca Civica Gambalunga (Rimini, Italy)
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Divina Commedia dei Malatesta

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Imago – Castel Guelfo
Limited Edition
599
Binding
Leather
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Italian
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