Journey through the Dante Urbinate: a luxury item

The Dante Urbinate is an extraordinary manuscript, by any measure.

Our journey through its pages is a perfect way to analyze the illustrations and the iconography in the manuscript, bringing light to some of the highest examples of the art of illumination — but there's even more to the Dante Urbinate.

It is very obviously a luxury item, which is plainly visible in its physical manufacture, the quality of parchment used, the layout of the text, and the quality and detail of the illustrations. This manuscript truly takes its place as the highest expression of the nobility and stature of its patron, Federico da Montefeltro and of his priceless court library.

Illumination from Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia, Ms. Urb. lat. 365, f. 6v, 1478-1482, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

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