Dante. The Vision of Art Exhibition

“The Uffizi is providing Dante-centric artworks for the major exhibition Dante. The Vision of Art held in Forlì from March 12 to July 4, 2021.

The show is part of the nationwide celebrations for the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, but also aims to symbolize the rebirth of Italy and the art world.

The project is based on an idea by Eike Schmidt, director of the Gallerie degli Uffizi, and Gianfranco Brunelli, director of major exhibitions of the Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi di Forlì, while Professors Antonio Paolucci and Professor Fernando Mazzocca are the show curators. The decision to hold the exhibition in Forlì is part of an overall strategy to promote the area that acts as a natural bridge between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. Dante sought refuge in Forlì in the Autumn of 1302 after leaving Arezzo. The poet stayed with the city’s noble ruling family, the Ordelaffi, for more than a year.

Several works will be loaned to Forlì by the Uffizi, including Andrea del Castagno’s portraits of Dante and Farinata degli Uberti, which are not usually not public view in Florence, given their placement in the San Pier Scheraggio church, which is where the council met on which Dante once served. A second Dante portrait, by Cristofano dell’Altissimo, will be displayed in the Forlì exhibition. Pontormo’s Exile from Paradise and a Michelangelo’s drawing depicting a doomed man in Divine Comedy’s Inferno, in addition to a selection of fine sketches by Federico Zuccari for the 500th illustrated edition of the text. Other highlights include a marble bust of Virgil by the eighteenth-century sculptor Carlo Albacini, and the nineteenth-century canvas by Tuscan proto-romantic Nicola Monti, titled Francesca da Rimini in the Inferno.”    –Editorial Staff, The Florentine, July 10, 2020

Gathered at the Edge of Light Exhibition – Michael Mazur

“Albert Merola Gallery at 424 Commercial St. [Provincetown, Mass.] is happy to present its first exhibition of 2020 from June 12 to July 1 — paintings by Michael Mazur. The exhibition’s title, Gathered at the Edge of Light, comes from a passage early on in Dante’s Inferno. It is appropriate in many ways, not least of which is that Mazur deeply studied Dante’s masterwork, and had a deep love of all things Italian. One of his major accomplishments was the epic illustration of the Inferno. He made drawings, monoprints, and a complete suite of etchings, illustrating the story of Dante and Virgil’s journey through Hell. This accompanied the translation done by Robert Pinsky, a United States Poet Laureate and dear friend of Michael and Gail Mazur.”    —Wicked Local, June 10, 2020

See our previous post on Mazur’s work here.

Inferno.Etude – Vartan

“… Vartan, a queer former Orthodox Jew from Chechnya whose sculptures and paintings mostly explore demonic and sexual themes. ‘My work always shows a state of human spirit,’ he tells The Creators Project. ‘Demons and angels, pain and uncontrollable desire, fear and loneliness. The naked body in sculpture represents a spiritual condition. I am not interested in ‘politically correct’ art because it’s boring. Shock, controversy, and honesty. These are the three principles of my art.'”    –Anya Tchoupakov, Vice, November 19, 2015

Shown at left is Vartan’s sculpture Inferno.Etude.

La Divina Commedia (2015) – Paolo Di Paolo

“A 750 anni dalla nascita di Dante, è possibile raccontare ai ragazzi La Divina Commedia? La sfida è stata accolta da uno scrittore come Paolo Di Paolo che, accompagnato dalle splendide illustrazioni di Matteo Berton, ci fa rivivere lo straordinario viaggio di Dante.”    —La Nuova Frontiera Junior, July 30, 2015

The Inferno Project by Eric Armusik

“I’ve chosen to paint 40 panels at 4ft x 5ft with the intent of displaying them together in the most comprehensive and realistic depiction of the poem to date. The reason for the size is simple, I want these images to take on an almost life-sized presence to draw us in body and soul to the world Dante Alighieri created almost 700 years ago. Because this tremendous undertaking requires vast knowledge on the subject of the Divine Comedy to render accurately, I began immediately searching for the most well-known expert. I was thrilled when Professor Christopher Kleinhenz, a world-renowned Dante scholar agreed to assist me in the creation of this series. For the next few years, we will be working together in the pursuit to create the most accurate visual depiction of the poem. You can see the progress on my blog at this link.  The completion of these paintings will then culminate in a traveling museum exhibition and a large, full-color painting book on the subject narrated by Professor Kleinhenz.  The goal for the projects is set for 2021 – the 700th Anniversary of Dante’s death.”    –Eric Armusik, erikarmusik.com, January 24, 2018

Check out the the project’s completed paintings on Eric Armusik’s website here.

Empyrean by Alexandra Carr

Hell, Heaven and Hope: A Journey through life and the afterlife with Dante is now open to the public in the Palace Green Galleries at Durham. The exhibition features a fabulous range of copies of Dante’s works, as well as contemporary artwork. Alexandra Carr’s Empyrean features as part of the section of Paradise. Completed as part of Alexandra’s Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence programme, the sculpture represents the spheres of the medieval universe, drawing on Grosseteste and Dante: sculpting with light on the grandest scale in the creation of the universe.”    —Ordered Universe, December 4, 2017

Waiting for Dante by Roger Williamson

“It was then she appeared, Beatrice, she who would show me, just in time, the illusion of the beast and the spell to return it to the glass.

Virgil, who was able to bring me into this world but not out of it, because of his own self imprisonment in it, began to fade from view and as he paled so Beatrice seemed to absorb his substance and morphed into my new guide.”    –Roger Williamson, Saatchi Art, October 24, 2015

Paradiso After Dante by Emma Haworth

Paradiso After Dante by Emma Haworth.

Garry Shead Online Art Gallery

Online gallery of artist Garry Shead’s Divine Comedy inspired work.

Check out our original post on Garry Shead here.

Bob Cimbalo at Other Side

“The Other Side, the neighbor and partner of South Utica’s popular Café Domenico, is currently hosting a ‘damned’ good show: a series of paintings depicting scenes from the Inferno, the first volume of the celebrated trilogy by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri.

The poem is organized into 34 cantos or chapters, and it describes the (fictional) journey Dante took through hell, his first stop on a three-volume tour of eternity that eventually landed him in paradise.

Bob Cimbalo, one of the region’s most accomplished artists, created one very engaging painting for each of Dante’s 34 Inferno cantos — an impressive artistic feat now on display for the first time in many years.

[. . .]

In Cimbalo’s depiction, the leaden cloaks of the hypocrites are strikingly stiff and angular, which to my eye immediately makes them look like they’re fashioned of metal— in contrast to other depictions of this scene, including one by the famous illustrator Gustave Doré, whose cloaks of these damned look much more like ordinary cloth. In Cimbalo’s depiction, you immediately sense the weight they’re carrying, even before you know what his painting is meant to depict.”    –Phil Bean, Observer Dispatch, March 16, 2020