They possibly date to the Pre-Raphaelite era but are hard to date exactly. Maybe made of cold painted bronze but unsure, they are approx 11.5cms high x 9cms wide with combined weight of 311 grams, though the Beatrice plaque is slightly bigger. Both are done in high relief. Each has a small ring shaped wall hanger to the rear, the DANTE plaque has the initials CR to the rear. No other history is known about the items.
In reality, Dante loved Beatrice from a distance and they had little to no contact with one another. The real Beatrice Portinari probably never had any idea of the depth of his passion for her. Yet she was to become one of literature’s most famous figures. Dante Alighieri first saw and fell in love with Beatrice when he was nine years old. He would later write about his instant love for her in Vita Nuova, saying “Behold, a deity stronger than I; who coming, shall rule over me.” He loved her from afar for the rest of her life. She would die in 1290 at age twenty four.
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