The artist explains the present work, 'This picture is loosely based on a small black and white reproduction of a painting attributed (equally loosely I think) to Signorelli. This features the poet seen through the window of an otherwise windowless and featureless room. I have departed from this source in almost all respects and have introduced a back window which looks out onto a quasi-metaphysical landscape which includes a rocky outcrop, in front of which stands a cypress tree ... The books at the right of the picture give a key and colour-index to the image as a whole. They are titled AMOR, MARO and ROMA, each being an anagram of the other. Dante's physiognomy is based on the traditional received image of a hatchet-faced ascetic that comes down to us largely by word of mouth via the probably spurious death-mask, the Torrigiano bust in Naples, and the paintings of Raphael and Botticelli. The hands are my own and drawn from life though adapted to the geometrical dictates of the painting' (see T. Phillips, 1992, loc. cit.).