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This was one of three panels painted by Rossetti to decorate a piece of furniture belonging to William Morris. The subject for all three was Dante's idealised love Beatrice. Rossetti was fascinated by Dante's story - which he translated for his own publication, The Early Italian Poets (1864) - and saw in it a parallel with his own love for Elizabeth Siddall.

Dantis Amor (Dante's Love) is the central panel, symbolising Beatrice's death, which occurred between the events depicted in the other two panels, The Salutation of Beatrice in Florence and The Salutation in the Garden of Eden.

August 2004