In a 14th-century illustration, Dante reaches out to Sapia, whose eyes have been sewn shut.
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
One citation at a time, a professor and her students are crafting a more complete picture of Dante’s women.
The Thinker by Auguste Rodin.
All muscles and sensuous flesh, its hyper and toxic masculinity puts this Rodin scholar off the artist’s most famous artwork.
Six Tuscan Poets by Giorgio Vasari, 1544. Dante Alighieri,
Giovanni Boccaccio, Petrarch, Cino da Pistoia, Guittone d'Arezzo and Guido Cavalcanti are depicted in the oil painting.
The history of Italian literature cannot be understood without the vernacular poets. But their works were largely unknown until Lorenzo ‘the Magnificent’ sent a gift to the Prince of Naples.
Hilye, or calligraphic panel containing a physical description of the Prophet Muhammad made in 1718 in the Galata Palace, Istanbul.
Dihya Salim al-Fahim, (1718), via Wikimedia Commons
Visual depiction of Prophet Muhammad is a sensitive issue for many Muslims. Islamic literature shows how Muslims used textual imagery to give a vivid picture of the prophet.
Sculpture of ninth-century Persian scholar Al-Khwarizmi in Khiva, Uzbekistan. Latin discovery of Al-Khwarizmi’s work introduced the numerals 0-9, one of many ways in which Islamic cultures have contributed to Western civilisation.
Western civilisation and Islam are sometimes seen as diametrically opposed. Yet Islamic cultures have contributed much to the West, in language, philosophy and literature.
What was behind early depictions of hell?
Hell-themed Halloween attractions play on people’s fears. The early depictions of hell were meant to use fear as a moral guide to help others.
Road to nowhere?
Sergio Delle Vedove
Divine inspiration was at the centre of music for thousands of years – until post-war conservatoires got other ideas.
Giotto’s Last Judgment in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, inspired by Dante Alighieri’s vision of heaven and hell.
The gates to hell in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy tell us to “abandon all hope, yet who enter here”. Despite its unfunny premise, ‘La Commedia’ ends well, with its protagonist Dante reaching heaven.