28″h x 22″w
Signed and Numbered
From Michael Parkes: Dante met Beatrice in 1274 when they were both nine years old. Some say they only saw each other twice and never spoke. Others have described an encounter in her 21st year where they met on a bridge crossing the Arno and held a brief conversation. Considering the size of Florence at the time, this lack of contact seems rather unrealistic, but certainly no evidence of a physical relationship was ever recorded.
Beatrice died on June 8, 1290. In Vita Nuova, Dante describes her death as having “had lost the first delight of my soul.” After her death, Dante seems to separate and live in two distinctly different worlds. He would later begin a journey into an interior world that would forever change the face of western literature. His guide on that inner journey was Beatrice. Was she his soul mate, muse, or the creative feminine side of himself? Perhaps at different times she was all of these things.
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