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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Italian Studies: Dante

About Dante

Dante Alighieri is one of the most well-known Italian writers in history. His works include La Vita Nuova, Il Convivio, De Vulgari Eloquentia, De Monarchia, and La Divina Commedia, which is his most famous work.

La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy), written between 1308-1320, is a narrative poem telling the story of Dante's own journey through Hell, Purgatory, and then Heaven. Written in terza rima--a rhyme scheme invented by Dante himself--and in the vernacular, it is considered one of the most influential texts in Italian literature.

Dante in Art

Dante's works--particularly The Divine Comedy--have been featured in artwork throughout history. With so much artwork available to find, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. Click through these tabs to find some of the best online & print resources for finding art based around Dante. 

Digital Dante's image page gives users access to a variety of digital image galleries that provide artistic representations of Dante. Image galleries contain illustrations within the early printed editions of the Comedy, as well as William Blake's artwork and that of more recent artists, like Sandow Birk.




World of Dante provides online access to a variety of artistic representations of the Comedy throughout history, including works by Botticelli, Dalì, and Doré. 



Digital Bodleian makes the much of the Bodleian Library's extensive collection available online. Among this collection are various manuscripts and artworks containing images of Dante and The Divine Comedy, including the Bodleian MS Holkham misc. 48which is one of four fully illustrated manuscripts of the Comedy from the 14th Century. 

Renaissance Dante in Print is an online exhibition by the University of Notre Dame and features Renaissance editions of The Divine Comedy. A majority of the exhibition showcases works from the University's own Dante collection, with additional works provided by the Newberry Library.


The British Library's Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts provides access to a variety of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, as well as virtual exhibitions and glossaries from the British Library. The library also has several illuminated manuscripts of The Divine Comedy available to view, including the Yates Thompson MS 36


The William Blake Archive provides users with access to a gallery containing all of Blake's illustrations of The Divine Comedy. 




The World of Dante gives users access to a variety of artwork surrounding Dante's life and works, including pages dedicated to Gustave Doré and John Flaxman.

Print Resources for Dante in Art

Printed Works for Research:

Dante Online

The Dante Society of America was founded in 1881 in order to encourage the appreciation of Dante, his life, and his work. The Society publishes a journal every year, titled Dante Studies, as well as a yearly bibliography, titled American Dante Bibliography

Dante Today is dedicated to sightings and mentions of Dante and his works in contemporary culture. 

The Dartmouth Dante Project is a searchable, full-text database that offers over 70 commentaries on The Divine Comedy. Users have the ability to search within the text of the Comedy and the commentaries.

Digital Dante is a free, online resource that provides several options to explore scholarship relating to Dante studies. The site offers three different contexts for scholarship: the Commento Barolinianothe first online commentary for The Divine Comedy; Intertextual Dantewhich is used for intertextual studies regarding the Comedy; and various forms of media (image, sound, history, and text), which are contributions from scholars and artists worldwide.

The Princeton Dante Project allows for an enhanced study of the Comedy by providing a variety of easily consulted sources available while reading the original text. Sources provided include various translations, audio of the poem in Italian, historical and interpretive notes, and more. 

Società Dante Alighieri is an organization dedicated to the study and celebration of Italian language and culture. The organization is worldwide, with branches in over 60 countries, and provides classes in Italian studies, from basic language acquisition to advanced Italian literature.

Note: website is in Italian.

Dante Online provides an overview of all things relating to Dante Studies, including his life, major works, and related resources. The website is in Italian, with the option to translate to English if desired.

World of Dante is dedicated to enhancing the study of The Divine Comedy, providing interactive webpages, the full text in both English and Italian, a gallery of artwork relating to the Comedy, maps, music, and even a timeline.