Vetrata "Il trionfo di Dante"-1292
Giuseppe Bertini (1825-1898)
The Triumph of Dante
170 x 61 cm
"Milano 1851" "Giuseppe Bertini"
The stained-glass window is a replica of a much larger one showed by Giuseppe Bertini at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 and much praised by the English Pre-Raphaelites.
In the stained-glass Dante is sitting on a Gothic throne between Matelda, on the left, and Beatrice, on the right. Under the throne there is a quotation from the Divine Comedy:
“O Muses, O high genius, now assist me!
O memory, that didst write down what I saw,
Here thy nobility shall be manifest!” Inferno, II, 7-9.
Above are depicted three episodes from Dante’s Inferno: Dante in the dark wood scared by the arrival of three beasts; Dante and Virgil ferried to the burning city of Dis; and the story of Paolo and Francesca. At the top there is the Glory of the Virgin surrounded by angels.
This stained-glass window is the centre of an intimate and private room of the Poldi Pezzoli house, the so-called Dante study, designed by Giuseppe Bertini and Luigi Scrosati.
The choice of Dante as the main character of the work had a strong patriotic value for Milan, after the Five days insurrection against the Austrian in 1848, as well as for Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli who, like Dante, was exiled for political reasons.
At the time, the work by Bertini was much appreciated also for his technical skill in the use of large polychrome pieces of glass.