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La Divina Commedia, Purgatorio XVII Ascent to the fourth ring of Purgatory: Vergil explains Purgatory to Dante

Sandro Botticellic. 1488/1492 - 1492

Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

The drawing for the canto of Purgatorio 17 shows Dante guided by the antique poet Virgil. Dante´s somnambular pose and expression indicate the lack of outer action in this scene and at the same time the intellectual density and abstraction of the visions he is experiencing at this stage of the journey. Following Dante´s epic view Botticelli depicts a complete overview of the episode as well as a detailed psychological insight into the events through meticulously rendering Dante´s reactions, gestures and poses. Botticelli´s narrative technique works by applying simultaneous representation: by showing the same figures several times on one sheet, the viewer is guided from stage to stage while following the progression of two poets and the proceeding of events. Botticelli, master of the drawn line in motion makes thus the physical and emotional movement of the afterworld travellers traceable in every detail.

Details

  • Title: La Divina Commedia, Purgatorio XVII Ascent to the fourth ring of Purgatory: Vergil explains Purgatory to Dante
  • Creator: Sandro Botticelli
  • Date: c. 1488/1492 - 1492
  • Physical Dimensions: w47.0 x h32.2 cm
  • Type: Drawing
  • Medium: Metal pen and quill in brown on parchment
  • Inv.-No.: Botticelli, Purgatorio 17
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018511
  • External Link: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyright: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Dagmar Korbacher
  • Collection: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Artist Place of Death: Florence, Italy
  • Artist Place of Birth: Florence, Italy
  • Artist Gender: Male
  • Artist Dates: 1445 - 1510

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