The Map of Hell
painting by Botticelli is one of the extant ninety-two drawings that were originally included in the illustrated manuscript of Dante's Divine Comedy
commissioned by Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici.
The Divine Comedy Illustrated by Botticelli
is a manuscript of the Divine Comedy
by Dante, illustrated by 92 full-page pictures by Sandro Botticelli
that are considered masterpieces and amongst the best works of the Renaissance
painter. The images are mostly not taken beyond silverpoint
drawings, many worked over in ink, but four pages are fully coloured. The manuscript eventually disappeared and most of it was rediscovered in the late nineteenth century, having been detected in the collection of the Duke of Hamilton
by Gustav Friedrich Waagen
, with a few other pages being found in the Vatican Library
. Botticelli had earlier produced drawings, now lost, to be turned into engravings for a printed edition, although only the first nineteen of the hundred cantos were illustrated.
In 1882 the main part of the manuscript was added to the collection of the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin
(Museum of Prints and Drawings) when the director Friedrich Lippmann bought 85 of Botticelli's drawings. Lippmann had moved swiftly and quietly, and when the sale was announced there was a considerable outcry in the British press and Parliament. Soon after that, it was revealed that another eight drawings from the same manuscript were in the Vatican Library
. The bound drawings had been in the collection of Queen Christina of Sweden
and after her death in Rome in 1689, had been bought by Pope Alexander VIII
for the Vatican collection. The time of separation of these drawings is unknown. The Map of Hell
is in the Vatican collection. Read more...