(b. ca. 1450, Cortona, d. 1523, Cortona)

The Angel Arrives in Purgatory

Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto

The only one of the busts of philosophers and poets that can be identified with certainty is Dante Alighieri, and some of the loveliest and most famous of the monochromes are illustrations of episodes from the Divine Comedy - for the most part from Purgatory. In these Orvieto frescoes Signorelli proves that he is a talented illustrator of Dante, but what is truly fascinating is that he has succeeded in giving an interpretation of the Divine Comedy that is evocative and visionary, so similar to more modern styles that one can't help but compare it to the work of such artists as Fuseli, Blake, Gustave Doré. If one is still searching for evidence of Luca Signorelli's inventive genius and of his astonishing versatility, then these decorations will provide it.

This picture shows The Angel Arrives in Purgatory.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.