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Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini

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Francesca da Polenta (called Francesca da Rimini) was born in 1255 and was the daughter of Guido da Polenta 'signore' (lord) of Ravenna. Between 1275 and 1282, she married Giovanni 'Ciotto' (the lame, called 'Gianciotto') Malatesta, 'signore' of Rimini. Paolo Malatesta was born in 1246 and was one of the two younger brothers of 'Gianciotto'. In 1269, he married Orabile Beatrice, Countess of Ghiaggiolo. Became lovers, Paolo and Francesca were killed by 'Gianciotto' between 1283 and 1286.

"La Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri" (Dante Alighieri's 'Divina Commedia'). Fresco by Domenico Di Michelino (on a design by Alessio Baldovinetti), 1465. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence. Dante Alighieri tells the story of Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini in the Canto V of "Inferno", the first book of his "Divina Commedia" (1304-1321). It is believed that the double murder took place in the castle of Gradara, near Pesaro (Marche, Central Italy).

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti, "Paolo and Francesca da Rimini", watercolour, 1867.

Charles Edward Hallè, "Paolo and Francesca", oil on canvas, date unknown.

Etching by Gustave Dorè for the 1857 edition of Dante Alighieri's "Divina Commedia".

Jean-August-Dominique Ingres, "Paolo et Francesca", 1819.

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, "Françoise de Rimini", oil on canvas, 1814.

Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini. Postcard. Italy, 1910s.

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Cover of the pamphlet for Raffaello Matarazzo's "Paolo e Francesca" (1949), starring Odile Versois (as Francesca da Rimini), Amando Francioli (as Paolo Malatesta) and Andrea Checchi (as 'Gianciotto').

Raffaello Matarazzo's "Paolo e Francesca" (1949), starring Odile Versois (as Francesca da Rimini), Armando Francioli (as Paolo Malatesta) and Andrea Checchi (as 'Gianciotto').

Gustave Dorè, "Paolo et Francesca da Rimini", oil on canvas, 1863.