US Friends of the Uffizi Donate Painting

September 16 2021

Image of US Friends of the Uffizi Donate Painting


Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The US organisation Friends of the Uffizi Gallery have donated a painting by Donato Mascagni to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The oil on canvas, dating to 1611, depicts Il Conte Ugolino from Dante's Inferno.

Just in case you'd like to know more about the work's curious subject matter:

The canvas is associated with one of the most famous sections of the 'Divine Comedy', described in Canto 33 of the Inferno. Count Ugolino Della Gherardesca takes centre stage, guilty of having betrayed his homeland, one of the worst sins in Dante’s worldview, which sees the count languishing in the deepest ninth circle of hell. History books inform us that the Pisan nobleman was imprisoned with his children in the Torre della Muda and sentenced to death by starvation. Dante remembers how Ugolino’s desperation resulted in cannibalism. The artist chose not to depict this atrocity, instead preferring to paint the count’s final moments of agony: come un poco di raggio si fu messo / nel doloroso carcere, e io scorsi / per quattro visi il mio aspetto stesso (As now a little glimmer made its way / Into the dolorous prison, and I saw / Upon four faces my own very aspect).

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