Here, the Ameircan sculptor John Adams Jackson has chosen to depict the eminent Italian poet Dante in profile and framed in a way that suggests and enhances the subject’s position within literary history. The nineteenth century witnessed a renaissance of interest in Dante, and Boston/Cambridge became a veritable hotbed of Dante studies. As Italy’s greatest poet whose work was a harbinger of the soon-to-flourish Renaissance, Dante was a natural subject for the neoclassical sculptor.
Photograph by Jerry L. Thompson for the Boston Athenæum.
Bequest of Jane M. (Mrs. John Adams) Jackson, 1916