Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265. He is considered Italy's greatest poet and one of the most important writers in the Western Canon. His most important work, The Divine Comedy, was groundbreaking in its day—and remains an artistic touchstone to this day. Dante's depiction of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) exercised wide influence on many writers and artists (painters, sculptors, musicians) who came after him—through which Dante affected the popular conceptions of the afterlife for centuries to come. He did not write in Latin, the language of the educated elites. Instead, he chose to write in the vulgate, the popular language of commoners (which allowed more people to read and understand his writings). The popularity of The Divine Comedy demonstrated that the Italian language was eminently suited to high-minded ideas—thus opening the door to more popular writing after him (which, in turn, resulted in an increasingly educated populace). What's more, Dante wrote in the regional Tuscan dialect which ended-up permanently affecting the Modern Italian language we hear today. For this reason, Dante is called "the father of the Italian language."
These bookends depict Il Sommo Poeta ("The Supreme Poet"), made some 600 years after Dante's death. They are "bronze-clad," meaning a thin layer of electroplated bronze completely surrounds an underlying composite base. The exposed metal is then patinated, polished and painted as the artists choose. Please click on the photo above to learn more about these handsome and useful bookends.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248