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X — Bargello Fresco. — Portrait of Dante, commonly ascribed to 
Giotto. Chromo-lithography published by the Arundel Society, 1859, 
from a sketch made by Seymour Kirkup previous to the restoration. 

Vasari, in his life of Giotto, writes as follows: *' Among the portraits of this 
artist which still remain, is one of his contemporary and intimate friend, Dante 
Alighieri, who was no less famous as a poet than Giotto as a painter. • . . This por- 
trait is in the chapel of the PodestJl in Florence; and in the same chapel are the 
portraits of Ser Bmnetto Latini, master of Dante, and Corso Donati, an illns- 
trious citizen of that day.** t Still earlier references to this portrait are fonnd in the 
writings of Filippo Villani and Giannozzo Manetti. The portrait occurs in a Gioria 
or Paradise where, according to the custom of the time, learned and renowned men 
are grouped at the foot of a painting in which saints and cherubim pay homage to 
God. With the decay of interest in art and letters in the seventeenth century, the 
building containing this predous fresco was converted into a prison, called the 
Bargello, and its wall-paintings were covered with a coadng of lime. In the begin- 
ning of this century a number of endeavors were made to uncover this fresco, but 
not until the affair was taken hold of by R. H. Wilde, G. A. Bezsi, and Seymour 
Kirkup, did they meet with success. The portion of the fresco containing the por- 
trait of Dante was uncovered July 21, 1840, — not 1841 as it is stated on the above 
plate. It is said that in the haste and excitement incident to the work, a nail which 
had been driven into the wall was pulled out (instead of being cut off), and it took 
with it a piece of the plaster and the eye of the very portrait which was the occasion 
of all the search. In restoring the portrait, Antonio Marini, who had charge of the 
work, painted too small an eye, and altered the whole expression of the face by 

* With the esoeptioD of Nos. 15, 16, 17, the portraits entered in this list are reproduced in Kxaoa, 
''Dante, sein Leben nnd sein Weric,*' 1897, PP* i6x-2oa. 

t In consequence of this statement the two fignies at Dante's side (see Na a) are popohrly identi- 
fied with Bmnetto Latini and Cono Donati, bat Vasari does not say tliat the three were grouped 



slight changes in the contour and very decided changes in the color and in the 
treatment of the head-dress and gown. 

There has been much dispute concerning both the date and the painter of this 
fresco. From its containing Dante's portrait we must conclude that it was painted 
either before his exile in 1302 or after his deadi in 1321, for no artist would have 
dared to thus honor him during the intervening years when he was under the ban 
of the party in power. Another important factor in fixing the date of the painting 
is the identification of one person in the fresco who by his dress shows himself to 
be a French prince. If the latter is taken to be Charles of Valois, then the fresco 
must be regarded as commemorating the latter's stay in Florence in 1301-02. Such 
is the opinion most widely current, maintained notably by Crowe and Cavalcaselle. 
But the reception with which Charles met in Florence was hardly such as to be 
commemorated on the walls of her public buildings. J. R. Sibbald in his account 
of the portrait, prefaced to his translation of the Inferno^ argues for the date 1326 
and the occasion of the visit of Charles Duke of Calabria, the eldest son of King 
Robert of Naples, and great-grandson of Charles of Anjou, as that celebrated in the 

G. KGlanesi and L. Passerini, when requested by the Minister of Public Instruc- 
tion in 1864, to report upon the authenticity of the existing portraits of Dante, ex- 
pressed themselves of the opinion that the Bargello fresco could not have been 
painted by Giotto. They fixed upon Taddeo Gaddi, the godson and favorite pupil 
of Giotto, as the probable artist. This ascription was based on the similarity exist- 
ing between the whole composition of the Bargello fresco and that in the Rinuccini 
chapel in Santa Croce, at that time thought to be by GaddL The latter work is to- 
day, however, ascribed to Gaddi's pupil, Giovanni da Milano, and consequently, if 
we accept the arguments of MDanesi and Passerini, the ascription of the Bargello 
fresco to Taddeo Gaddi must be given up or shifted, with that of the Rinuccini 
chapel frescoes, to Giovanni da Milano. In a second report, Milanesi and Passerini 
aimed to show that Giotto painted his own portrait and that of his friend Dante on 
a wooden tablet, which for a number of years stood on the altar in the chapel of the 
Podesti^ and that from this tablet the portrait of Dante may have been copied on 
the wall. They would put the date of the fresco as late as 1337. 

"That the portrait of Dante, whether painted by Giotto or by one of his pupils, 
was derived from a sketch by the great master seems altogether probable. It is the 
most interesting portrait that has come to us from the Middle Ages. In the dignity, 
refinement, sweetness, and strength of its traits it is a worthy likeness of the poet of 
the New UfeP^Q, E. Norton, in the Century, April, 1884, vol. xxvii, p. 956. 

2 — Same; restored. — Photographic enlargement by F. HoUyer. 

3 — Same; restored. — Water-color copy by Carlo Facchmetti. 

4 — Naples Bust. — Photograph by Sommer, of Naples, fix)m the 
original bronze in the Museum of Naples. 

A comparison of this face with the bust and mask mentioned below (Nos. 7, 8), 
shows at a glance that the two must have had a common origin. 

5 — &»!«. — Photograph by F. Hollyer of a copy of the Naples 
bust Taken from the cast in the Kensington Museum. 


A full-size copy of the bust, in bronzed plaster, is foand in the Cornell Univer- 
sity Library over the middle entrance to the west stack. A much reduced copy is 
in the locked-press on the third floor of the stack. The head of Dante (A) in 
the south bay on this same floor is but a section of the Naples bust, from a some- 
what worn mould. Of the other casts in this same bay, the one (B) is apparently 
nothing but a copy cut at a different angle (the statement cut into the plaster to 
the contrary) ; the other (C) is from a modern bust, the face of which is modelled 
after that of the Naples bust 

6 — Same. — Lithograph from crayon sketch of the head, by D. V. 
Wilcox. Made for the Art Students' League of Buflfalo. 

7 — Torrigiani Bust. — Photograph by Alinari of the colored plaster 
bust in the UflQizi Gallery, formerly in the Palazzo del Nero, Florence. 

It is more than probable that this and the Naples bust (No. 4) go back to one 
common source, but what that original was, whether in plaster, marble, or bronze, 
and how true a representation of the features of Dante, it is impossible to say. 

8 — Mask of Dante. — Photograph, giving full-face and profile 
view, of a plaster cast from the preceding, formerly in the possession of 
Seymour Kirkup. 

"The greatest surprise is to be expressed on seeing how the majority of those 
[who have written on the portraits of Dante] have believed and still seriously believe 
that the so-called < mask ' was made directly from the body of Dante, on his death- 
bed, that is, at Ravenna in September, 1321 1 Such an opinion represents artisticaUy 
the most amusing of anachronisms, inasmuch as no workman of that time ever 
thought of taking impressions from dead bodies.* But this is not all ; let us examine 
the plaster mask or one of the reproductions. The furrows of the hair in the eye- 
brows and on the temples are not sharp, stiff, and true, but the evident groove of 
the sculptor's tool ; there is no closing of the eyelids nor indication of eye-lashes, 
but the eye is open and full ; the jaw does not stand out from under and around 
emaciated lips, but the line is free, elegant, and delicate, as seen in the work of an 
able modeller. 

" Then, too, how can one suppose that in the real death-mask the ear-tabs of 
the cap were also delineated? How can one suppose that the artist spread the 
plaster or clay over the cloth of the cap ? Lastly, how can one imagine that an 
object so precious, nay sacred, as the imprint of the very face of the poet, remained 
unknown to all the artists and to all the historians flourishing during almost two 
centuries, and, although in plaster, was preserved for more than five hundred years ? 

" Yet, these things, so obvious, so simple, were not thought of or not frankly 
stated by the many who have written about the ' mask ; ' and the learned men who 
made the report on the discovery of the bones of Dante compared it with the head 
of the skeleton of the divine poet. Furthermore, the well-known sculptor, Lorenxo 
Bartolini, found in the relaxation of the muscles and in the eyes unequally closed 'clear 
indications of recent death * 1 But we must hasten to observe that not daring to 
declare that it was a true mask, because indeed he saw the impossibility of it, he 
added that that cast might also come ' from some old bust modelled from the mask 

* This aaierdon ia disputed. 


taken «t fini hand from the face of the poet,' and Cappi entertained hia doubt**— 
Translated from C« Ricci, V ulUmo rifngi^ d$ DatUi, 1891, pp. 279-280. 

9 — Domenico di Francesco, called Michelino. — [Dante and 
his poem.] Photograph by AUnari from the fresco in the Cathedral of 
Florence, commissioned in 1465 on the occasion of the two-hundredth 
anniversary of Dante's birth. 

In the centre of the picture stands Dante, holding a book, on the open pages 
of which are inscribed the first six lines of the Camwudia. To the right is a view of 
Florence ; to the left is pictured hell and purgatory, while in the heayens above is 
represented paradise. The Latin verses at the bottom are ascribed to Bartolommeo 

10 — Portrait from the Riccardian Codex Z040. — Photograph 
of the portrait adjudged the most authentic by the governmental commis- 
sion of 1864, consisting of G* Milanesi and L. Passerini. 

The verdict of the Commission has not been accepted by scholars generally. 
The portrait dates probably from the second half of the fifteenth century. 

11 — Luca Signorelli. — Portrait of Dante, in the Chapel of 
S. Brizio in the Cathedral of Orvieto. Dates from 1500-01. Water- 
color copy by an Orvieto artist 

12 — Raphael Sanzio. — Head of Dante. Photograph by 
Alinari of a section of the fresco in the Vatican, entitled '' Disputa del 
Sacramento." Painted in 1508. 

13 — Raphael Sanzio. — Head of Dante. Photograph by Ali- 
nari of a section of the fresco in the Vatican, entitled ''H Pamasa*' 
Painted in 1511. 

14 — Raphael Sanzio. — Full-length figure of Dante, — a study 
for the preceding^* Photographic facsimile by the Autotype Co., London, 
from the original drawing in sepia in the Albertina, Vienna. Signed 
"R. Urbino.** 

15 -^Portrait attributed to Raphael Sanzio. -^ Phototype 
made for Berthior's edition of the Commedioj vol i, i892-[97]}. The 
original is an oil-painting on a panel measuring 17^ by 12^ inches. 

Mr. Morris Moore, into whose possession the portrait came in 1857, believed 
it to have been copied by Raphael from the Bargello portrait (Nos. 1-3). The face 
in the present portrait, however, is turned to the right, there is a laurel crown above 
the cap, and the cloak is fastened with two peculiarly shaped bows, — three points 
of detail in which it differs from the Bargello portrait. Mr. Moore claimed that the 
panel was painted for Raphael's friend. Cardinal Bembo^ and from the latter's family 

• For a woodcat of this see GoMitU dti Btaux-ArU, \%yh torn, hr, p. aoz. 


Pia de* Tolomei, whose spirit Dante meets in Purgatory among those who had 
put off repentance until overtaken by a violent death, was a lady of Siena, who had 
married Nello della Pietra. Nello, either because his wife had committed some fault, 
or because he suspected her of infidelity, or, perhaps, because he wanted to get rid 
of her so that he might marry the beautiful Margherita de' Conti Aldobrandeschi, 
the widow of Guy de Montfort, conducted Pia to his castle in the pestilential sea- 
coast district known as the Maremma, and in some way brought about her death. 
Commentators and historians differ in their accounts both as to the reasons for and 
the method of the husband's act. Dante does not inform us on the matter; he says 
all that he cares to tell in a few lines : — 

" Ah I when on earth thy voice again is heard. 
And thou from the long road hast rested thee 
(After the second spirit said the third). 

Remember me who am La Pia, me 
!F^om Siena sprung and by Maremma dead. 
This in his inmost heart well knoweth he 
"With whose fair jewel I was ringed and wed." * 

PurgcUorio^ v. 130-136. 

" In front of her lie her breviary and letters, beside a bronze sun-dial, with figured 
on it the angel of time wheeling the sun ; and beyond these are the battlemented 
walls, looking out upon the Maremma marshes, close under the ramparts of which 
are laid the steel lances of her husband's guards, with his red banner lying upon 
them. Behind her are finely drawn and painted ivy-leaves in clustering tendrils, and 
above her fig-leaves painted with the same exquisite finish as those in the picture of 
La Donna della Finestra. On the ramparts a bell is tolling in dismal, funereal tones, 
sending its melancholy clang across the lifeless Marenmia, over which, and just above 
the mouldy battlements, some black ravens hover and sweep with ominous caws. 
The artist has fully succeeded in his aim, — that of charging the composition with 
the insidious deathliness and depressing gloom of the Maremma, and of impressing 
upon the spectator that sense of indignant pity for the young and beautiful La Pia 
which Dante experienced when, with his guide, Virgil, he passed through the shad- 
ows of Purgatory." — William Sharp, D, G. RossetH^ 1883, pp. 265-264. 

^S'^Same. — Photograph of a finished study in oils for the head 
of La Pia. Published by W. A. Mansell & Co. 

26 — Same. — Photograph of an earlier crayon version of La Pia 
(i866)y in the possession of Lady Betty Balfour. From a private 

27 — D. G. Rossetti. — Francesca da Rimini. Triptych. Photo- 
graph by F. Hollyer, fi-om the original water-color of 1862, formerly in the 
possession of Mr. Leatheart, and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1883. 

" A replica, difiEering considerably in color and never retouched, belongs to Mr. 
George Rae,t while the first pencil study is, or was, owned by Mr. Ruskin. It is in 

* Translated by D. G. Rotietti and painted on the frame of the original picture, 
t Exhibited at the Burlington Qnb in 1883. For a reproduction of it, see F. G. Stephens, D. G* 
iTMsr/lt, 1894, p. 59-