This series of 14 paintings–each painting paired with a quotation from the poem–begins as such:
“In 2016, a previously unknown manuscript of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy was discovered in Florence, Italy: BNE Ms. II I 928. The discovery of this manuscript has reignited debate about the possible survival of the original version of Dante’s poem, written in his own hand. Until now, the study of Dante’s poem has been based upon copies of the poem made after his death in 1321. Scholars have found that the text of this newly discovered manuscript does not significantly differ from the other known copies of the Divine Comedy. BNE Ms. II I 928 nonetheless has unique features. Perhaps most remarkably, scholars have found that the text of the poem is written in a mirror script, i.e., from right to left. This blog is dedicated to dissemination of news about the restoration and interpretation of the manuscript, undertaken in the historic Sala Manoscritti (Manuscript Room) of the BNE in Florence. –Beata Viatrix “
This incipit is followed by explanatory footnotes (1-7). The artist/s do not name themselves on the website where this is posted: Explicit Liber Erratus.
In an email we wrote to the contributor of this citing asking for clarification, “Beata Viatrix” responded as such: “Those of us who have studied the manuscript do not yet know who made its illustrations or when. The ongoing restoration might in the future help to illuminate questions regarding authorship and historical interpretation. We have already found some intriguing evidence of multiple hands in the manuscript. Those hands are in various states of decomposition, so their usefulness for ultimately identifying the manuscript’s creators remains in question.”