Guy Denning’s Oil Painting Series on the Commedia

Guy Denning is an artist based out of Finistere, France since 2007. Beginning in 2011, he created a three part series of oil paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. The image above is a painting called “ch’io ‘l vidi uomo di sangue e di crucci” from his first series, ‘Inferno‘ (2011).

“In 2011 he presented ‘Inferno’, the first part of his three-part series of oil paintings on Dante’s Commedia in Bologna; this was his first exhibition in Italy and the complete exhibition sold out.
In 2011, he presented the second part of the series in New York City for the exhibition ‘Purgatorio’. Originally drawing inspiration from Dante’s writings, his intention was not to recreate the poem in a visual or literal sense, but instead let the ‘Purgatorio’ series act as a framework for his own personal interpretation of the world following 9/11. As with the writing of Shakespeare, Denning finds a perpetual relevance in Dante’s work where the specifics of name, situation and place are easily adapted to the modern world; as if time moves on but the problems of humanity remain essentially the same. The events of September 11th and the emotional toll it took on the US identity was a critical element to this body of work. Poignantly enough, this exhibition was held in a ‘pop-up’ location just blocks from Ground Zero and on the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.” [. . .]    —Widewalls Magazine, 2017

On exhibition set- “Inferno”

“This was the first part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Inferno was exhibited at my first solo exhibition in Italy at MAGI’900 Museo, Bologna.”     –Guy Denning, on his site, January 19, 2017

On exhibition set- “Purgatorio”

“This was the second part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Purgatorio was exhibited in Manhattan at a pop-up gallery space by Brooklynite Gallery on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”    –Guy Denning, on his site, January 30, 2017.

The image above to the right is a painting called “the cardinal virtue of media temperance” from the ‘Purgatorio‘ exhibition.

On exhibition set- “Paradiso”

“This was the third part of my paintings based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Paradiso was exhibited at Signal Gallery in London.”    –Guy Denning, on his site, January 27, 2017.

The image below is a painting called “Looking for Beatrice” from the ‘Paradiso‘ exhibiton.

To view Denning’s full list of exhibitions, check out his website here

Luke Chueh’s Inferno (2009)

“The Inferno‘s artistic legacy is huge; Botticelli, Doré, Dali, Rauschenberg, and countless lesser known artists have created works inspired by the poem. It has inspired a movie (acted out by paper puppets) and even became a video game. Most artists seem to stay true to the poem, focusing on ‘the poets’ Dante, his guide Virgil, and Inferno‘s diverse cast of demons and damned. Rauschenberg approached Inferno by creating a painting for each of the 36 cantos. As for me, I’ve decided to remove Dante and Virgil, and instead create a painting for each ring of hell, with the exception of Rings Seven (a triptych – 3 paintings) and Eight (a deciptych – 10 paintings). I wanted to compose each painting in a way that illustrates what a ‘normal day in hell’ would be like. In order for me to accomplish this, I had to take some personal liberties with certain details within the Inferno, but I did my best to stay as true to the text as I could.

“Inferno was hosted by Gallery 1988, and opened on September 9th, 2009 (9/9/9). If you’re interested in any of these paintings, please contact Gallery 1988 for availability.” [. . .]    —Luke Chueh on his work, August, 2009.

Pictured above is Chueh’s map of his Inferno.

You can check out the full series of artwork and more of Chueh’s work on his website.

Donald Newman Illustrations of The Inferno (2004)

Donald Newman is an artist who works in oil, watercolor, sculpture, and photography. He created a series of illustrations depicting the 34 cantos of the Inferno, with the above illustrations representing Canto 5 and Canto 19.

You can check out the full series and Newman’s other works on his website.

Inferno by Franz von Stuck (1908)

Inferno. Franz von Stuck (1908)
Oil on canvas.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY

“This painting’s title refers to Dante Alighieri’s medieval epic of a journey through hell. Although Stuck employed traditional symbols of the underworld—a snake, a demon, and a flaming pit—the dissonant colors and stylized, exaggerated poses are strikingly modern. He designed the complementary frame. Stuck’s imagery was likely inspired by Auguste Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, particularly the figure of The Thinker (see related works nearby). When Inferno debuted in an exhibition of contemporary German art at The Met in 1909, critics praised its ‘sovereign brutality.’ The picture bolstered Stuck’s reputation as a visionary artist unafraid to explore the dark side of the psyche.”    —The Met on Franz von Stuck’s Inferno.

To see the artwork that von Stuck was influenced by with this piece, check out The Met’s website.

The Spirit of Peace by Jasper Frances Cropsey (1851)

The Spirit of Peace. Jasper Francis Cropsey (1851)
Oil on canvas
Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

“This romantic and imaginary landscape is filled with palm trees, temples, tombs, ruins of previous civilizations, and an array of active figures. The benefits of peace are evident in the tranquil integration of philosophy, the exchange of knowledge, the visible signs of trade and commerce, and the arts of dance, music, and representation. Cropsey emphasized that this invented view of the ancient world expressed his belief that Christianity was historically inevitable. The shepherd with his goats in the lower left is a direct reference to Christ guarding his flock while the lion, boy, and lamb carved on the monument on the round temple allude to the Old Testament prophecy that the kingdom of peace, brought into being by the Messiah, would be a place of ‘no violence or destruction in God’s creation, even in the animal kingdom. Natural enemies will no longer be enemies. The food chain will be unchained.’ (Isaiah 11:6)” [. . .]    —Woodmere Art Museum on The Spirit of Peace, 2018.

The second picture is The Spirit of Peace on display at the Woodmere Art Museum, taken by an anonymous contributor.

New England Winter Hell

new-england-circles-of-winter-hell-2016This cartoon by Beth Wolfensberger Singer summarizes the struggles of New Englanders during the winter season.

“Beth Wolfensberger Singer is a Boston-based artist. Her comics appear on her blog, ambitionectomy.tumblr.com.” — Singer, Boston Globe, December 16, 2016

Nine Circles of Hell for Whiteys in South Africa Comic

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The Nine Circles of Hell for Whiteys in South Africa” is a comic posted by Alastair Laird, commenting on the different levels of racism for white people in South Africa. The comic is full of South African slang that may be difficult to understand for someone outside of that culture, but a few searches on the internet can help a reader decipher the words.

This comic was posted on Mahala, “a free South African music, culture and reality magazine that strives to report and represent what’s really happening along the fault line and in the trenches of South African culture. Mahala is home to challenging and incisive political and social commentary and strong, fearless opinions. We promote freedom of thought and expression. We’re available online, on your mobile and in print. We’ll always be free, gratis and Mahala. Because you deserve quality information, opinion and entertainment for free! Thought is free!” — cited from Mahala’s About page

Read the full comic here.

“Internal Inferno,” Issue Three of Teeth Magazine (UK)

Teeth-Magazine-Internal-Inferno-Covers

“These awe-inspiring photographers, writers, stylists, artists, musicians and models manifest an electric, celestial world that uncovers today’s limitless counterculture with forthright and subversive depictions of sex, style, anatomy, nature, religion, and contemporary connections. Each uninhibited story in this issue takes you on an unconventional, intercontinental journey that will tease you, please you and possibly leave you searching for water in a desperate bid to quench the flames.” — Teeth Magazine

Inferno Magazine

INFERNO: arts, scènes, attitudes is a bilingual (French-English) magazine dedicated to contemporary art, published quarterly and available both in print and online. The magazine’s offices are located in Avignon, France.

“INFERNO est depuis 2013 la revue européenne référence des pratiques contemporaines: Art, Performance, Danse, Théâtre, Littératures… Tout ce qui compte dans la création contemporaine la plus exigeante et novatrice n’échappe pas à INFERNO, classée comme l’une des 10 revues les plus influentes d’Europe.” —INFERNO la revue

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Fiona Hall’s Divine Comedy Polaroids (1988)

Inferno-V-Lustful-Fiona-Hall-Polaroid-Photograph

Artist : Fiona Hall (Australia, b.1953)
Title : Inferno, canto V: The circle of the lustful (1988)
Medium Description: Polaroid photograph

“This photograph from the late 1980s is from a series of twelve Polaroid photographs relating directly to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Each work is a carefully constructed scene illustrating a particular canto. Technically the artist has made the most of the cumbersome 20 x 40 inch Polaroid camera, using it to render exquisite detail and to capture subtle colour. She cuts and moulds aluminium soft-drink cans to form menacing vegetation, human figures, creatures from beyond the grave, on the journey through Hell and Purgatory to Paradise. Hall photographs them amongst found objects set against backgrounds which she has painted.” —Art Gallery of New South Wales website

View the whole collection of photographs at the Art Galley of New South Wales site.