Dante: The Divine Comedy

Often called the greatest work of Italian literature and one of the most important literary works in history, this epic poem follows its main character on a journey from hell to paradise in three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

Banished for life from his home city of Florence in 1302, Dante wrote The Divine Comedy as he traveled throughout Italy under the patronage of prominent citizens, his work mirroring aspects of his own journey in exile. The commentary by Cristoforo Landino, commissioned as part of the Florentine edition, was the work’s dominant commentary through the end of the sixteenth century. This edition, the first illustrated work of Dante and the second illustrated book printed in Florence, contains seven copperplate engravings attributed to Baccio Baldini; two were printed directly on the pages; five were printed separately and pasted in.

—Excerpted from auction catalogue