Muses

Beatrice & Dante

Dante only met the real-life Beatrice, twice: the first time at nine years old and the second time, nine years later, along the bank of the river Arno, in Florence. Despite these brief encounters, Dante was mesmerized by the young woman’s beauty and thus celebrated her in his literary works. Not only was Beatrice a stunning vehicle for beauty, did she become the virtual muse and main character of Dante’s poetry - the ideal allegory for beauty and love. Dante expressed his feelings for Beatrice in the medieval idea of courtly love - a secret and respectful admiration and with The Divine Comedy, he transformed Beatrice into a spiritual guide to heaven. From physical individual, Beatrice was thus transformed into an intangible fantasy, the very embodiment of perfection - ‘the glorious lady of [Dante’s] mind’.

Tags / Beatrice & Dante - Muses - Lovers - Fiction - Medieval - Italy
Illustration by Evelyn Paul for The New Life by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1915
Illustration by Evelyn Paul for The New Life by Dante Alighieri, translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1915
Dante and Beatrice by Sandro Botticelli, circa 1490
Dante and Beatrice by Sandro Botticelli, circa 1490
Dante and Beatrice by Ary Scheffer, 1851, 180 x 99 cm, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Art, Boston
Dante and Beatrice by Ary Scheffer, 1851, 180 x 99 cm, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Art, Boston
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beata Beatrix, Oil on canvas, 69.3 x 87.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beata Beatrix, Oil on canvas, 69.3 x 87.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beatrice, Meeting Dante at a Wedding Feast, Denies him her Salutation, 1855. watercolor on paper. 34 cm x 42 cm, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beatrice, Meeting Dante at a Wedding Feast, Denies him her Salutation, 1855. watercolor on paper. 34 cm x 42 cm, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
Henry Holiday, Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita, 1883, oil on canvas, 140 x 199 cm, National Museums and Galleries on Mereyside, Liverpool
Henry Holiday, Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita, 1883, oil on canvas, 140 x 199 cm, National Museums and Galleries on Mereyside, Liverpool
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Salutation of Beatrice, 1859 , Oil on panel, 160 x 74.9 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Salutation of Beatrice, 1859 , Oil on panel, 160 x 74.9 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Marie Spartali Stillman, Dante and Beatrice, 1880
Marie Spartali Stillman, Dante and Beatrice, 1880
John William Waterhouse Dante and Beatrice, 1915, oil on canvas. 47 × 58.5 cm, Private Collection
John William Waterhouse Dante and Beatrice, 1915, oil on canvas. 47 × 58.5 cm, Private Collection
Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, , 1859 , Oil on panel, 160 x 74.9 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Dantes Dream at the Time of the Death of Beatrice, 1871, oil on canvas, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Dantes Dream at the Time of the Death of Beatrice, 1871, oil on canvas, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK
Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, Venise, Biblioteca Marciana , XIVe century
Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, Venise, Biblioteca Marciana , XIVe century
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy (Beatrice among the angels),1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy (Beatrice among the angels),1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy,1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy,1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy,1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy,1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy,1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy,1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy,1868
Gustave Doré, The Divine Comedy,1868
Carl Wilhelm Friederich Oesterly, Dante and Beatrice, 1875
Carl Wilhelm Friederich Oesterly, Dante and Beatrice, 1875
Dante and Beatrice
Dante and Beatrice
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