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Italy's Uffizi Opens Dante Anniversary With Virtual Exhibit

Italy's Uffizi Opens Dante Anniversary With Virtual Exhibit

Florences Uffizi Gallery is making available for viewing online 88 rarely displayed drawings of Dantes Divine Comedy to mark the 700th anniversary in 2021 of the Italian poets death.

MILAN: Florences Uffizi Gallery is making available for viewing online 88 rarely displayed drawings of Dantes Divine Comedy to mark the 700th anniversary in 2021 of the Italian poets death.

The virtual show of high-resolution images of works by the 16th-Century Renaissance artist Federico Zuccari will be accessible from Friday for free, any hour of the day, for everyone, said Uffizi director Eike Schmidt.

The drawings illustrate Dantes masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, an epic poem in three parts recounting a pilgrims travels through hell, purgatory and heaven.

Dante Alighieri is revered as the father of the Italian language. A Tuscan by birth, he died and was buried in the city of Ravenna, a three-time ancient capital located in the region of Emilia-Romagna.

The pencil-and-ink drawings are in contrasting shades of black and red. They were completed during Zuccaris stay in Spain from 1586 to 1588, and became part of the Uffizi collection in 1738.

The drawings have only been publicly displayed twice previously, and then only a selection, owing to their fragility: in Florence in 1865 to mark the 600th anniversary of Dantes birth and coinciding with Italys unification as a nation, and for a specialized exhibit about Dante in Abruzzo in 1993.

The drawings were originally bound in a volume, with each illustration opposite the corresponding verse in Dantes epic poem. The texts and scholarly comment will also be included in the virtual show, titled A riveder le stelle,” (to see the stars again), a reference to the celebrated last line of Dantes Inferno.

Schmidt said the drawings are a great resource for Dante scholars and students, as well as anyone who likes to be inspired by Dantes pursuit of knowledge and virtue.


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