ADVANTAGES

Giorgio Vasari, our most important early source on Botticelli, wrote in 1550 that "Since Botticelli was a learned man, he wrote a commentary on part of Dante's poem, and after illustrating the Inferno, he printed the work." Vasari refers Botticelli's drawings for some of the engravings by Baccio Baldini that adorned the first edition of the Divine Comedy published in Florence, in 1481, with commentary by Cristoforo Landino. Botticelli also painted a portrait of the poet, probably to adorn the library of a scholar. These two projects reflect the revival of interest in Dante in late fifteenth-century Florence.

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