18 Facts About Beatrice Portinari


Beatrice was the daughter of the banker Folco Portinari and was married to another banker, Simone dei Bardi.


The tradition that identifies Bice di Folco Portinari as the Beatrice loved by Dante is widely, though not unanimously, accepted by scholars.


Beatrice Portinari was a rich banker, born in Portico di Romagna.


Beatrice Portinari moved to Florence and lived in a house near Dante where he had six daughters.


Beatrice Portinari gave generously to found the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova.


Scholars have long debated whether the historical Beatrice Portinari should be identified with the Beatrice Portinari of Dante's writing.


Beatrice Portinari first appears in the autobiographical text La Vita Nuova, which Dante wrote around 1293.


The collection of these poems, along with others he had previously written in praise of Beatrice Portinari, became what we now know as the Vita Nuova.


Beatrice Portinari herself was moved to intercede by the Virgin Mary and Saint Lucia.


Beatrice Portinari is referenced frequently throughout his journey through hell and purgatory as a source of inspiration and comfort.


Beatrice Portinari personally appears near the end of the Purgatorio to take over as guide from the Latin poet Virgil because, as a pagan, Virgil cannot enter Paradise.


Where Virgil is understood as human reason and philosophy, Beatrice Portinari represents religious knowledge and passion: theology, faith, contemplation, and grace.


Beatrice Portinari berates him for weeping when Virgil disappears, and then for abandoning her memory after her death and indulging in sin to such a degree that she had to intercede on his behalf to save him.


Beatrice Portinari frequently corrects Dante during his journey, acting as a spiritual guide and source of wisdom.


Contrary to her initial harsh treatment, throughout Paradiso Beatrice Portinari is encouraging and patient towards Dante, taking joy in his gradual progress.


Beatrice Portinari is frequently viewed as a Christ figure, owing to her death, the "new life" Dante finds through her in La Vita Nuova, and her interceding before God to save Dante's soul in the Comedy.


Beatrice Portinari has been immortalized not only in Dante's poems but in paintings by Pre-Raphaelite artists and poets in the nineteenth century.


Subjects taken from Dante Alighieri's La Vita Nuova, especially the idealization of Beatrice Portinari, inspired a great deal of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's art in the 1850s, in particular after the death of his wife Elizabeth Siddal.