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La Divine Comédie de Dante illustrée par Botticelli

In the fall of 2003, during the Botticelli exhibition at the Luxembourg museum in Paris, we had been greatly disappointed not to see one single drawing of the Divine Comedy. And yet it was one of the major works of the Florentine artist, who dedicated ten years of his life to it. We still do not know today whether he responded to a commission or followed a personal impulse. 92 of these drawings are known, since after they disappeared from Florence they reappeared on the antique market of Paris during the XVIIth and XIXth centuries. Most of them - 84 - are now kept at the Drawing and Print Cabinet of Berlin, the rest at the Vatican library. This edition of the Divine Comedy, illustrated in this manner, had been offered by Diane de Selliers a few years ago. Today it reappears in a more economic but proper version: the drawings are on folded pages, they are neither cut nor dissociated. We do regret not seeing the Italian text next to Jacqueline Risset’s translation. On the other hand we have a detailed iconographic commentary for each drawing.

• La Divine Comédie de Dante illustrée par Botticelli, Diane de Selliers publishing house, 506 p., 60 €, ISBN : 9-782903-656423.

La Divine Comédie de Dante illustrée par Botticelli -

Review published in the newsletter #90 - from 15 May 2008 to 21 May 2008

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