500 Pc Dyce, William: Francesca da Rimini

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William Dyce (Scottish, 1806–1864)
Francesca da Rimini, 1837

As Francesca reads to her young lover, Paolo, there is a hint of tragedy: the hand of her husband, the elderly and deformed Gianciotto of Rimini, creeps into the left of the frame. Aficionados of Dante’s Inferno will know that Gianciotto, Paolo’s brother, assassinated the lovers in such a scene. Artist William Dyce originally included Gianciotto in full, but when the canvas was trimmed in 1882 to remove damage, only his disembodied hand remained.