Dante Alighieri ~ the first to ever write in Italian. The first to ever distinguish and mark a separate language from Latin.
The Vision: Dante and Beatrice, 1846 by Ary Scheffer
Dante Alighieri and The Divine Comedy
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) painted by Giotto (1266/7-1337) in the chapel of the Bargello palace in Florence. This oldest portrait of Dante was painted during his lifetime before his exile from his native city.