Journey through the Dante Urbinate: Paradise, Canto XXII. The Fixed Stars

Dante and Beatrice are in the Eighth Sphere of the Fixed Stars so there are stars all around them. Dante is in the constellation of Gemini, his own zodiac sign. Above you can see the sign of Taurus and below that of Cancer. Beatrice shows Dante the long path he has traveled:

"Rimira in giù, e vedi quanto mondo / sotto li piedi già esser ti fei"
"Look down and see what a universe I have / Already contrived to put beneath your feet,"

(Canto XXII, 128-129)

The preparatory sketch of this miniature is also presented (Urb. Lat. 1763, f. 25r nr. 2). It has some differences, in fact, in the sketch there are no stars, but a note says, "The zodiac sign should be sky blue, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer; the sky all blue filled with stars, and a few clouds". On the left side of the miniature, in fact, a cloud can be seen.

Valerio Mariani.

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

Illumination from Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia, Ms. Urb. lat. 365, f. 259v, 1478-1482, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

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