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Paolo and Francesca

Photo credit: Bridgend County Borough Council

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Paolo and Francesca were works of fiction by Dante. This painting was the first of the artist’s paintings to be exhibited at the Royal Academy. Paolo’s father was the Lord of Rimini and Francesca’s father the Lord of Ravenna. Like the families of Romeo and Juliette, they had been at war for years. Eventually, a peace was brought about by the proposal of marriage of Guido Polenta’s (Lord of Rimini) son Giovanni, and the Malatasian heir Francesca da Rimini. Unfortunately, Giovanni was deformed and ugly and the two fathers doubted that Francesca would go through with the marriage. Giovanni’s brother, Paolo was sent to marry Francesca by proxy. They both fell in love. Francesca was unaware of the deceit until the day after the wedding.

Bridgend County Borough Council Collection, Maesteg Town Hall





oil on canvas


H 147 x W 147 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented to the former Maesteg Urban Council by the artist, 1934; inherited by the former Ogwr Borough Council and by Bridgend County Borough Council from them

Work type


Bridgend County Borough Council Collection, Maesteg Town Hall

Talbot Street, Maesteg, Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr) CF34 9DA Wales

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