Journey through the Dante Urbinate: Paradise, Canto VI. The Second Sphere

Dante has finally arrived in the earthly Paradise.

We are in the Second Sphere, of Mercury the Ambitious. After having rejoined Beatrice, they are seen meeting the same group of souls, where in the center the Emperor Justinian narrates his life (VI, 1-27). Romeo di Villanova can be seen next to Beatrice, while on the right three other figures are close to Dante.

The Artist, having no scenes to illustrate in Canto V, instead makes two illustrations of Canto VI. The first shows the figure of Romeo of Villanova and then that of Justinian.

Preparatory drawing for the image: Urb. Lat. 1763, f. 22r.
On the same sheet, at the top, there are some notes that mention the planets.

"Mercury the caduceus, Venus the rose, Mars the palm, Jupiter the oak branch, Saturn the rounded serpent.”

Valerio Mariani and staff.

Source: La Divina Commedia di Federico da Montefeltro. Il Dante Urbinate. Commentario.

Illumination from Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia, Ms. Urb. lat. 365, f. 211v, 1478-1482, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

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