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Integral facsimiles of the illustrations by Gustave Doré to Dante Alighieri's "Inferno", part of the "Divine Comedy"
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About Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) (1) :

Dante Alighieri
Dante by Doré

Dante was born in Florence in the year 1265, his father, Alighiero degli Alighieri belonged to one of the noble families of Florence.

The poet was christened Durante, which, according to the Italian custom, was endearingly abbreviated to Dante.

The history of his early years is not very well known; he had for a tutor the celebrated Brunetto Latini, and it is the general opinion that he studied at Bologna. Certain it is that he was deeply versed in the learning of his age - in history, philosophy and theology, besides music and the liberal arts. He early showed signs of a rare genius, and also, if we may believe Boccaccio, of an amorous disposition.

At the age of nine he is said to have fallen in love with Beatrice, whom he has so celebrated. She was the daughter of Folio Portinari, a Florentine noble. His passion for her seems to have been of the chaste and platonic kind, according to the autobiography of his youth, the Vita Nuova, a mixture of prose and mystic poetry.
Beatrice died at the age of twenty-six, and Dante was induced to marry Gemma, of the noble family of the Donati. His life with her was anything but happy, and he finally separated from her after she had born him six children.

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