Study for a Dantesque scene


(Florence 1784-1855)

Study for a Dantesque scene
(Piccarda forcibly removed from the Poor Clares convent)
Brownish ink and pencil on paper, 3,5 x 5.39 inch
With a coeval carved and gilded frame, 12.5 x 16 inch

At the bottom of the drawing there two oval embossing stamps with the names of the descendants BEZZUOLI/MACCIÒ/PARRI and an eagle’s clay. On the back, still at the bottom, there is written Bezzoli in cursive font.

The subject described seems taken from the Divine Comedy, one of the artist’s favorite. Analyzing the carachters and the setting, it’s possible to suppose that the depicted scene is taken from the life of Piccarda Donati, the first soul met by Dante in Paradise, in the Sphere of the Moon,  where she stayed due to “vows neglected and, in part, no longer valid.” Precisely, this is the episode that got her that heaven position, so when her brother Corso forcibly removed her from the Poor Clares convent-where she voluntarily became a nun-to oblige her to marry Rossellino della Tosa.

The technique, with a fast and precise line, is recognizable in other Bezzuoli’s drawing of the same subject, like the Exiled Dante from a private collection or in the studies of the eulogized painting about the Count Ugolino della Gherardesca.


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