Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection

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A drawing of two astronomers observing the heavens.
A drawing of two astronomers observing the heavens.
A drawing of two astronomers observing the heavens.
A drawing of two astronomers observing the heavens.

Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection

18 February – 15 May 2016

★★★★★
The Telegraph

★★★★★
Time Out London

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

“At the Courtauld, pure bliss beckons”
The Independent

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.

 

Organised in collaboration with

Kupferstickkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Exhibition Benefactors

  • Anonymous in memory of Melvin R. Seiden
  • Friends of The Courtauld
  • International Music and Art Foundation

Press Release

Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection

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