“The words that Virgil speaks to Cato (De Monarchia II, V, 15) mark both the origin and the end of the quest undertaken by Dante, at the end of the quest undertaken by Dante, at the end of which he poses a clear antithesis between ‘servitude’ and ‘liberty’: ‘Thou from a slave hast brought me unto freedom’ (Paradiso, Canto XXXI, 85).
[. . .] In this process of discernment through which freedom is achieved, man is supported by will, i.e. ‘the power that wills’ (Purgatorio, Canto XXI, 105), and aided by reason, i.e. ‘the power that counsels’ (Purgatorio, Canto XVIII, 62).”
Retrieved from The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists by Simon Njami.
Learn more about the Cairo-born artist Nabil Boutros on the artist’s website.