“Sophie Giacomelli (1779-1819) is the earliest known female illustrator of Dante. Her engravings were published in 1813 – some years after John Flaxman’s ground-breaking, privately printed, neo-classical outline illustrations in 1793. Giacomelli has patently imitated the style but her Divine Comedie has undoubtable unique approaches, as this engraving of The Simonists (Canto XIX, Inferno) demonstrate. The popes are plunged head down into infernal holes so that only their flaming feet are seen. But it’s how this illustrator has captured Dante’s occasional ‘scaredy-cat’ episodes by having him caught in the arms of his strong and protective guide, Virgil. Giacomelli was also known as Billet (father’s name), Janinet (her stepfather’s name) and Madame Chomel. I’ve not been able to find information on this last name – which may have been a stage-name (she sang as well, after meeting up with her musician husband, Joseph Giacomelli). She was, by the briefest accounts available, a most impressive woman and it was many decades before another female had her Dante designs published. She is very rarely mentioned in Dante illustration.” –Emma Marigliano
Fukuzawa’s work was recently shown in Laugh Off This Hopeless World: Fukuzawa Ichiro (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, March 12 – May 26 2019, a cura di Shōgo Ōtani, Ryō Furutate, Reiko Nakamura).
See Lorenzo Amato’s article, “Fra Dante Alighieri e l’Ōjōyōshū di Genshin: la società come Inferno nell’opera di Fukuzawa Ichirō, pittore umanista e misantropo” in Insula Europa, February 2021.
“Gojira may have put the brakes on the new full-length album that was rumored for release this year, but that doesn’t mean 2020 will be completely devoid of new music from the French foursome: the band has posted a new live performance video, shot at the Duplantier brothers-owned Silver Cord Studio in New York City, of a previously unreleased song called ‘Inferno,’ originally written in 2003.
“The song was inspired by the 1925 film Maciste All’inferno, which also happens to be the name of a live recording Gojira made in 2003 while playing along to that very movie. Wikipedia tells us that the album was recorded live while a projection of the film was running at the Rock School Barbey in Bordeaux, France, on May 29, 2003. That recording, which was never officially released, ran for 50 minutes and consisted of 15 individual tracks, while the selection Gojira have released today is just under four minutes — maybe it’s one of those 15.” [. . .] –Vince Neilstein, “Gojira Post Previously Unreleased Song, ‘Inferno’,” MetalSucks (October 30, 2020)
Watch the video on YouTube.
Contributed by Pete Maiers
Bianca Garavelli’s Le terzine perdute di Dante is a historical thriller that follows the affairs of the poet himself, in exile in Paris, and a contemporary scholar who appears to have discovered the poet’s autograph in a manuscript in Milan. The novel was published by BUR Rizzoli in 2015.
“Parigi, 1309. Dante, in esilio, stanco e spaventato, vive nel terrore di essere perseguitato dai suoi numerosi nemici. Una delle sue poche consolazioni è la compagnia di una donna misteriosa, Marguerite Porete, una mistica accusata di eresia della quale Dante diventa il miglior allievo, e che lo conduce nel centro di una guerra spietata fra due ordini che agiscono nell’ombra. In gioco c’è un pericoloso segreto, una profezia di cui l’Alighieri è il depositario prescelto. Ed è il filologo medievale Riccardo Donati a mettersi sulle tracce di quel mistero centinaia di anni dopo, nella Milano dei giorni nostri: mentre esamina un antico manoscritto si imbatte in quella che ha tutta l’aria di essere la firma autografa di Dante. Sarà l’inizio di una vorticosa e inattesa avventura che stravolgerà per sempre la vita di Riccardo, e non solo. Un romanzo sospeso tra passato e presente, tra storia, letteratura e azione, per un thriller storico che si trasforma in una caccia all’uomo frenetica e appassionante.” —BUR
See more at Bianca Garavelli’s website here.
Image on wall is a painting entitled “Dante and Virgil” (1850) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. It appears to be the falsifiers of Inf. 30, Capocchio and Gianni Schicchi, in combat.
Contributed by Kristina Olson
The original painting, currently held in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France, below.