Dante and Giotto in the Podestà Chapel at the Bargello
Dante and Giotto. The oldest portrait of Dante Alighieri is in the Chapel of the Podestà at the Bargello Museum in Florence. The Museo Nazionale del Bargello sits in the ancient Palazzo Podestà of Florence that became in 1865 the first National Italian Museum dedicated to Medieval and Renaissance art.
In the fresco of the “Final Judgment” Giotto and his Bottega in 1570 freshed the wide space, including among the Blessed Dante Alighieri.
Built as a place for prayer for the podestà, the chapel was subsequently used as the room where the condemned to death spent their last night.
The whole frescoed wall was then covered with plaster giving this rare work to oblivion.
Only in the 1800s, when reading a passage from Vasari’s “Vite”, it was discovered that inside the Bargello Giotto had portrayed Dante.
It was so great the astonishment for the finding of the portrait that from now on the Bargello became the destination of sudios, artists and curious from all over the world.
Dante Alighieri is recognizable in the ranks of the Blessed thanks to the headgear and the red robe and is also the only one with a book in his hand (the Divine Comedy)
For more information, consult the Florence-Museum website or call us at 055-713655.
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