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. As this 500-piece puzzle shows, however, the threat remains tangible, as the lovers are too involved with each other to notice the impending doom.