The painting has a number of symbolic undertones. The young black boy offers the bride roses, a symbol of love, but also a Christian image, indicating someone who is matchless or without peer. The virgins hold lilies, normally a symbol of purity, but these lilies are red and suggest passion and physical love. The composition is interesting as her attendants crowd around the bride, providing a rich and sumptuous setting for her jewel-like beauty.
One of the many things I love about Dante's painting is the wealth of embellishment. Very few painters of the time included so much jewelry. In the case of "The Beloved", Dante painted hair ornaments, necklaces, bracelets and rings. Two of these elements have drawn my eye for quite some time. One attendant is wearing a fabulous swirling hair ornament, which has appeared in quite a few of Dante's painting. The other is the headpiece on the young boy.
My inspiration for The Beloved: A Wrap-style Bracelet is a
combination of design details from the two pieces of jewelry that have been
of great interest to me in this painting. A wrap-style bracelet with an
interesting lacing technique is the background for the embellishments. The
center component consists of a beautiful puffed ring that "swirls" on a
pearl stem. The second set of components has a trillion CZ as the center
with a puffy bezel to accent the shape. The last components are 10mm CZ's
with a simple bezel. All of the components are sewn to the wrap bracelet,
which ends with an oval CZ button.