Artibus et Historiae no. 32 (XVI)

1995, ISSN 0391-9064

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BARBARA J. WATTS - Sandro Botticelli's Drawings for Dante's Inferno: Structure, Topography, and Manuscript Design

The manuscript of the Dante's Commedia rewritten by Nicolaus Mangona was embellished by 92 drawings made by Sandro Botticelli between ca 1485 and 1495. It is characterized by the very tight connection between the text parts and the adequate illustrations depicting the scenes in the fullest detail, what reminds the cedexes.

A number of the structural innovations were introduced in the volume. Each canto, illustrated by one all-page set of drawings, is contained on one page what was allowed by removal of the commentary. Book was probably opened vertically what is understandable from the practical reasons. This also gave a special significance to the miniatures of the Plan of Hell and Lucifer clasping the book's course. General project of the manuscript's form is due to S. Botticelli who used here the ideas first introduced in his designs of the engravings for the Florentine edition of Commedia (1481).

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