"Dante, as he tells us in the Vita Nuova, was discovered drawing an angel after the death of Beatrice.

It may be that what these poets had in common was a method of contemplation that expanded consciousness in them so that they were made open to the illumination of Sapientia, and that an effect of this expanded consciousness was to open up to them the world of the imagination, the world of symbols… through which Love acted as their guide."

William Anderson, Dante the Maker (1980)