Amor mi mosse, che mi fa parlare
Dante's Comedy, 700 years later
Jean-Ernest Aubert, Portrait of Dante after Raphael.
Dear fellow traveller,
For the past 700 years, Dante Alighieri’s Comedy has accompanied our thoughts and fed our imaginations.
We have studied it, memorized it, painted it, sculpted it, set it to music, staged it. Our eyes have scurried along its each and every verse, our minds have interpreted its metaphors, and our hearts continue to beat to the rhythm of Dante’s poetic genius. The Comedy continues, as it has before, to inspire us.
Map of the places named in Dante’s works or visited by him, created by Mary Hensman. - Dante Map, London, Nutt, 1892. McGill Rare Books and Special Collections, Colgate VI.Essex House.
To celebrate this poet amongst poets, we present to you a new reading of his masterpiece. We invite you to view the Comedy through the eyes of many others who have lived and breathed it over the last seven centuries by means of the manuscripts and print books that have been the heralds and vehicles through which the Comedy has reached an ever larger readership. Experience the poem through the gaze of the artists who have illuminated and illustrated it over the centuries, and through the books that have enabled the poem to travel from late medieval Italy to contemporary Quebec.
Diagram of Earth, Hell, and Purgatory. - Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Banco Rari 215, f. IIIv.
Let us return
to the dark wood,
Dante found himself
along the journey
of his life,
the poet’s death.
THE Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal
THE Centre d’études médiévales OF THE UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTRÉAL
in collaboration with
the BIBLIOTECA NAZIONALE CENTRALE of Florence
the BIBLIOTECA MEDICEA LAURENZIANA of Florence
the BIBLIOTECA NAZIONALE of Naples
the BIBLIOTHÈQUE DES LIVRES RARES ET COLLECTIONS SPÉCIALES of the Université de Montréal
McGill University’s RARE BOOKS AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
the ISTITUTO DELL'ENCICLOPEDIA ITALIANA TRECCANI