08.06.

1290: Death of Beatrice, Dante’s Love with “Eyes of the Color of Emeralds“

1290: Death of Beatrice, Dante’s Love with “Eyes of the Color of Emeralds“
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Dante and Beatrice, by Henry Holiday. Dante looks longingly at Beatrice (in center) passing by with friend Lady Vanna (red) along the Arno River

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 2 June 1290
  • Dante Alighieri saw, it seems, this Florentine girl only twice in his life, but it was enough for him to fall in love with her and describe her as his guide through Paradise in his "Divine Comedy".

On this day, at the age of only 24 years, Dante’s muse Beatrice Portinari died. 

Dante Alighieri saw, it seems, this Florentine girl only twice in his life, but it was enough for him to fall in love with her and describe her as his guide through Paradise in his “Divine Comedy”.

Dante never developed a physical relationship, or even communicated with her. Their meeting when she was 17 and he 18 years old was his most intense experience.

She was walking through the streets of Florence on that day, dressed in white and accompanied by two elderly women.

She saw him, turned and greeted him. Her greeting filled him with such joy that he retreated to his room and fell asleep thinking of her.

The dream that he dreamt became the subject of his work La Vita Nuova. Beatrice married Simone dei Bardi, a banker, when she was 21, but Dante continued to love her.

She died tragically on this day. Dante was not so preoccupied with her looks as much as he was with her gentleness.

From physical appearance, he described only her complexion and stated that she had eyes the color of emeralds.

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