William Blake. Dante's `Divine Comedy'. the Complete Drawings - Sebastian Schutze (Hardcover)

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Product Details

27 Jul 2019
Supply Source


Sebastian Schutze
Maria Antonietta Terzoli
Benedikt Taschen (Director)
Dante's Divine Comedy, the Complete Drawings
Taschen America Llc
Number of Pages
239 x 173 x 43mm (1.58kg)


Celebrated around the world as a literary monument, The Divine Comedy, completed in 1321 and written by Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), is widely considered the greatest work ever composed in the Italian language. The epic poem describes Dante’s journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, representing, on a deeper level, the soul’s path towards salvation.

In the last few years of his life, Romantic poet and artist William Blake (1757–1827) produced 102 illustrations for Dante’s masterwork, from pencil sketches to finished watercolors. Like Dante’s sweeping poem, Blake’s drawings range from scenes of infernal suffering to celestial light, from horrifying human disfigurement to the perfection of physical form. While faithful to the text, Blake also brought his own perspective to some of Dante’s central themes.

Today, Blake’s illustrations, left in various stages of completion at the time of his death, are dispersed among seven different institutions. This TASCHEN edition brings these works together again, alongside key excerpts from Dante’s masterpiece. Two introductory essays consider Dante and Blake, as well as other major artists who have been inspired by The Divine Comedy, including Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Doré, and Auguste Rodin.

With an intimate reading of Blake’s illustrations, and many close-ups to allow the most delicate of details to dazzle, this is a breathtaking encounter with two of the finest artistic talents in history, as well as with such universal themes as love, guilt, punishment, revenge, and redemption.


General Subject
BISAC Subject 1
Art / Individual Artists / General
BISAC Subject 2
Art / History / Romanticism
BISAC Subject 4
Art / History / Romanticism
BIC Classification 1
Individual artists, art monographs
BIC Classification 2
Art & design styles: Romanticism
Library Subject 1
Drawing, English
Library Subject 2
Watercolor painting, English
Dewey Classification

Author Bio

Sebastian Schutze was a longtime research fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max Planck Institute for Art History) in Rome. He is a member of the academic board of the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici in Naples, and a member of the Osterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. From 2003 to 2009 he held the Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art at Queen's University in Kingston. In 2009 he was appointed professor of early modern art history at Vienna University.

Review Quotes

"Produced to the highest standard in kaleidoscopic colour, this is a work to be treasured by lay readers and scholars alike."