Journey through the Dante Urbinate: the provenance

By now we have seen ample evidence that the Dante Urbinate is one of the world’s priceless masterpieces, but what is its provenance, the history of its ownership?

As with its production history, even its provenance has several phases over a long period of time. In 1657, Pope Alexander VII acquired the library of the Dukes of Urbino and transferred the entire collection to the Vatican Library. A new inventory was begun in the late 1600s and completed in 1719, which listed the Dante Urbinate as index number 365. Right beside this entry, there is another copy of the Divine Comedy from Federico’s library, given number 366. It is one of the most important codexes for the establishment of the text of the poem.

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

Illumination from Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia, Ms. Urb. lat. 365, f. 84r, 1478-1482, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

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