DANTE AND NICHOLAS III
Original 9 1/2 inch x 7 5/8 inch Engraving DANTE AND NICHOLAS III.
Pope Nicholas III was Pope from 25 November 1277 to his death in 1280. Though a man of learning noted for his strength of character, he was known for his excessive nepotism. He elevated three of his closest relatives to the cardinalate and gave others important positions. This nepotism was lampooned by Dante, in The Inferno, with Nicholas III, condemned to spend eternity in the Third Bolgia of the Eighth Circle of Hell, reserved for those who committed simony, the ecclesiastical crime of paying for offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church.
In Dante’s story, the Simoniacs are placed head-first in holes, flames burning on the soles of their feet. Nicholas was the chief sinner in these pits, which is demonstrated by the height of the flames on his feet.
Text below the image: ”There stood I like the friar, that both shrive a wretch for murder doom’ed.” Canto XIX., lines 10, 11.
Engraved by Adolphe François Pannemaker (1822 – 1900). Wood engraver. Graduate of Ecole Royale in Brussels. He went to Paris and worked there for more than 30 years, especially as book illustrator, often working with his son and pupil, Stéphane Pannemaker (1847-1930), especially on reproductions of Gustave Doré’s book illlustrations.
Illustration by Gustave Doré (1832 – 1883). The most popular and successful French book illustrator of the middle of the 19th century. Doré became widely known for his illustrations to such books as Danté’s Inferno (1861), Don Quixote (1862), and the Bible (1866), and he helped to give European currency to the illustrated book of large format. He was so prolific that at one time he employed more than forty wood engravers. His work is characterized by an eclectic mix of Michelangelesque nudes, northern traditions of sublime landscape, and a highly spirited love of the grotesque and bizarre.
Doré began work on his illustrations for the Divine Comedy in 1855 at a time when there was a renewed interest in Dante in France. Doré himself financed the publication of the Inferno in 1861 and this was so successful that the Purgatory and Paradise were published by Hachette in 1868 as a single volume. Subsequently, Doré’s Dante illustrations appeared in roughly 200 editions in many languages.
Illustration for Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” widely considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. This illustration is from the Inferno.
Published as a part work by Cassell and Company, Limited, London. May 1903 – September 1904.
Page size 13 1/4 inch x 10 inch
The engraving, on fairly thick paper, is in very good condition. Reverse side blank.
Availability: 1 in stock