THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

05 April 2015

The Divine Comedy Now Online

For those who enjoyed our blogposts on Dante’s Divine Comedy last year, the manuscript containing the images, Egerton MS 943, has now been published on Digitised Manuscripts. Here are a few of our favourite miniatures from this gorgeous manuscript, produced in northern Italy in the first half of the 14th century for a patron whose identity is unknown.

Inferno: In this part Dante is guided through Hell by Virgil and sees the torments of the Damned.

 

Egerton_ms_943_f006v detail
Dante and Virgil arrive at the gates of hell. Divina Commedia, Italy, N. (Emilia or Padua), late 14th century, London, British Library, Egerton MS 943, f 6v

 

Egerton_ms_943_f045r detail
Dante and Virgil watch as a sinner is attacked by a Dragon. Divina Commedia, Italy, N. (Emilia or Padua), late 14th century, London, British Library, Egerton MS 943, f 45r

 

Purgatorio: Virgil and Dante climb out of Hell into Purgatory, where they meet the souls doing penance and climb the seven terraces representing the seven levels of suffering and spiritual growth.

 

Egerton_ms_943_f065r detail
A boat bringing the souls over the water to Purgatory, escorted by an angel. Divina Commedia, Italy, N. (Emilia or Padua), late 14th century, London, British Library, Egerton MS 943, f 65r

 

Egerton_ms_943_f091r
Dante and Virgil watch the clouds of smoke of the wrathful souls; they pass through the dark clouds. Divina Commedia, Italy, N. (Emilia or Padua), late 14th century, London, British Library, Egerton MS 943, f 91r



Paradiso: In the third and final part, Dante is guided through Paradise by his lady love, Beatrice, who instructs him on the virtues of the seven celestial spheres and finally they enter the presence of the Divine.

 

Egerton_ms_943_f130r detail
Beatrice explaining the order of the universe to Dante.Divina Commedia, Italy, N. (Emilia or Padua), late 14th century, London, British Library, Egerton MS 943, f 130r
 
Egerton_ms_943_f179v detail
Dante and Beatrice look up at the sources of pure light in heaven. Divina Commedia, Italy, N. (Emilia or Padua), late 14th century, London, British Library, Egerton MS 943, f 179v

- Chantry Westwell

Comments

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.