Considered one the Renaissance highest achievements in the field of graphic arts, Sandro Botticelli’s cycle of ninety-three drawings illustrating Dante’s Divine Comedy constitutes also one of the great master’s most mysterious endeavors. Likely executed for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, the cycle has suffered a divided history: Seven leaves are preserved in the Biblioteca Apostolica in the Vatican, and a larger group of eighty-five sheets was cannily bought from the Duke of Hamilton for the Kupferstichkabinett of the Royal Museum in Berlin by its director Friedrich Lippmann in 1882. Dr. Dagmar Korbacher (Director, Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin State Museums) will outline the incredible journey and sensational sale of of these rarely exhibited drawings, while Dr. Furio Rinaldi (Curator, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) will illustrate what place the breath-taking Dante series plays within Botticelli’s evolution as a painter and draftsman.
Furio Rinaldi is curator of drawings and prints at the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s department of works on paper. Most recently, Dr. Rinaldi was Associate Vice President and specialist of Old Master drawings at Christie’s, New York.
Dagmar Korbacher is director of the Kupferstichkabinett of the Berlin State Museums, Germany’s largest collection of prints and drawings. She studied art history, Italian literature and classical archaeology at the Catholic Universities of Eichstätt and Milan.