Man and woman in stars

Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection

The Telegraph

Time Out London

“A breathtaking look at paradise and purgatory”
The Evening Standard

“At the Courtauld, pure bliss beckons”
The Independent


18 February – 15 May 2016

This major exhibition features no less than thirty of Botticelli’s exquisite drawings for Dante’s Divine Comedy alongside a selection of outstanding Renaissance illuminated manuscripts. These works were all sensationally sold to Berlin in 1882 by the 12th Duke of Hamilton. Dated to around 1480-95 and drawn on vellum, Botticelli’s Dante drawings are very rarely exhibited. This is an exceptional opportunity to see a representative collection of the great Renaissance master’s interpretation of one of the canonical texts of world literature. Ten drawings will be included from each of the three parts of the Divine Comedy, charting Dante’s imaginary journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise.

The drawings will be accompanied by an extraordinary selection of illuminated manuscripts, many from the time of Botticelli. These include the monumental Hamilton Bible. One of the most important illuminated manuscripts in the world, this splendid princely volume is depicted in Raphael’s portrait of Pope Leo X (Florence, Uffizi Gallery) and has never returned to the United Kingdom since its sale in 1882.