Dante and Beatrice by William Blake

Dante and Beatrice by William Blake

This painting, written in ink and watercolor, is part of a large cycle, over which Blake worked at the end of his life. Blake greatly revered Dante, believed him to be “one of the greatest spirit-bearers.”

In his poem leading the reader through Hell and Purgatory to Paradise, Blake saw the way of the human soul from sin and darkness – to light and purity. During this journey, Dante, accompanied by Virgil, meets both his contemporaries, and people from distant eras, and fictional characters. In the end, he sees Beatrice, his “Beautiful Lady.” Blake’s picture illustrates

the first meeting between Dante and Beatrice

I must say that the master tried to illustrate Dante’s poem as accurately as possible and depict everything that the poet mentioned. However, in some details, he still allows himself “artistic liberties” and deviations from the text. Nevertheless, he managed to convey with great expressive delight – and at the same time confusion – experienced by Dante at a meeting with The one he worshiped

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