It was to celebrate the 6th anniversary of Dante's death that in 1920 the project for a monumental edition of Dante's work came to life, financed by the lawyer Rino Valdamieri, together with other private investors. Amos Nattini executed the edition: he worked on the illustrations, the typographic aspects, the creation of the characters and the technical aspects. He therefore made 100 watercolors, one for each canticle, which were subsequently lithographed. 1000 copies were printed in hand-made rag paper 140x100 cm with leather cover of white calf. It took 20 years and 7 months to complete the artwork. Nattini also wanted a lectern to contain the three volumes weighing about 27 kg each: it was made by the cabinetmaker Eugenio Quarti, based on a drawing by architects Giò Ponti and Tommaso Buzzi.

Paradiso, Canto XXXI. We are in the Earthly Paradise and Dante meets Beatrice. The center of the composition is occupied by the figure of the chariot pulled by the Grifone, the animal half eagle and half lion, with two large wings that rise vertically towards the sky. The imaginary figure is well rendered, with anatomically real musculature. The neck and shoulders are powerful, while the hip shows the protruding bone. The long wings are covered with thick golden feathers. Dante comes out of Lete, the river of oblivion, and is accompanied in front of Beatrice, placed on the chariot, surrounded by a host of angels, in the act of removing the veil from her face. The environment in which the artist represents the meeting between Dante and Beatrice is the Earthly Paradise: it's rich of vegetation but the trees are not specifically investigated. Their "generic nature" transforms them into an absolute symbol of nature, as if to resume the medieval tradition. The light does not penetrate between the branches of the trees, but remains to hit the upper part of the foliage giving a warm touch, from yellow to deep green of the leaves.


  • Title: Purgatorio Canto XXXI
  • Creator: Amos Nattini
  • Date Created: 1939/1939
  • Physical Dimensions: cm 82 X 67
  • Type: lithography
  • Rights: Fondazione Cariparma
  • Medium: lithography

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