Liam Ó Broin’s Commedia Lithographs (2021)

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Irish printmaker Liam Ó Broin completed a series of 100 lithographs based on Dante’s Commedia in honor of the 700th anniversary of the poet’s death in 2021. The lithographs are currently available to view in an online exhibit sponsored by the Centre for Dante Studies in Ireland (CDSI).

“Dante’s search on his journey was to go to the depths of the human imagination. In that journey he reveals himself as one who has a deep understanding of the nature, and importantly, the necessity of the human scheme of community. He also reveals, however flawed the mechanism from a political aspect was at the time, a very clear understanding of the way a city state, and by extension a nation, needs to be structured as an entity for good government – its core must be social justice. Here we have Dante the poet, Christian, philosopher and politician – fused into one.”   –From the Artist’s Statement.

Read more about Liam Ó Broin’s career at the artist’s personal website.

View our previous post on Ó Broin’s 2012 Inferno exhibition at Graphic Studio (Dublin) here.

We extend our great thanks to the artist for permission to reprint the image above.

Marinella Senatore, illustrations (2021)

“For the 2021 event Dante Days in Foligno, Italy, Marinella Senatore has illustrated the anastatic copy of the first printed edition of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy […which was] was published on 11 April 1472 in Foligno, Italy, by Johann Numeister and Evangelista Angelini, in the worksop of Emiliano Orfini. The city of Foligno is therefore inextricably linked to the name of Dante and his universally celebrated poem.

“Since 2006, works by international artists such as Mimmo Paladino, Omar Galliani and Ivan Theimer, have been created for the occasion of the annual Dante Days. Each artist has produced an engraving, usually in lithographs or woodcuts, for the three main canticas: Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory) and Paradiso (Paradise).

“This year, Marinella Senatore has created five original subjects that gracefully illustrate Dante’s epic allegory, printed by hand through photolithography technique.”  […]   —Artvisor, April 13, 2021

Click here for the recording of Marinella’s livestream.

Dante Alighieri: A Suite Of Thirty-Four Lithographs

“The enduring power of Dante’s imagination in his masterpiece The Divine Comedy has inspired artists from the Middle Ages to the present. On reading this literary epic, the artist Liam Ó Broin began three years ago the daunting challenge to create 34 coloured lithographs in response to each canto of Inferno. Although faithful to Dante’s text, Ó Broin through his powerful imagery brings his personal perspective to bear on the central themes and contemporises Dante’s voyeuristic passage through the realms of Hell by portraying the Inferno of our time.  As Ó Broin states  ‘the one which can be created by ourselves and for others, in the here and now.’ These lithographs not only deepen our appreciation of the richness of the epic’s poetic language, but also seek to examine the multi-layered meanings of the text – universal themes of life after death, divine justice and punishment, man’s immoral actions and crimes to mankind.” [. . .]    —Liam Ó Broin

The Inferno lithographs were exhibited at Graphic Studio (Dublin) in 2012.

Selected prints from Liam Ó Broin’s Inferno series, including a limited edition box set (now sold out), were available for purchase here.

Emma Safe’s “Between Three Worlds”

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“Taking influence from personal experience, classical mythology and Dante’s Commedia, concentrating particularly on existential and ontological themes, the works collected as Between Three Worlds explore human potential and human transience. Space and time is radically questioned. Figures are pulled between states of being; through sublime ascent, catastrophic destruction and the uneasy predicaments in-between. Avoiding idealism and with no certain answers, these works attempt to question different types of love, different states of being, examining the edges of existence and beyond.” [. . .]    –Emma Safe, Between Three Worlds.

Dante receives his COVID-19 vaccine

Posted to Instagram by La Repubblica and L’Espresso Settimanale illustrator Mauro Biani (@maurobia) on Dantedì (March 25) 2021. The image was also shared on La Repubblica.

Contributed by Carmelo Galati (Temple University)

Silk stole illustrations by Marco Brancato for Orequo

Illustrator Marco Brancato’s Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso silk stoles for the luxury Italian fashion company, Orequo.

Contributed by Angela Lavecchia

«Noi leggiavamo. . .»: Visual re-mediations of Canto 5 in the journal Arabeschi

In honor of Dantedì (March 25) 2021, the journal Arabeschi published a special issue dedicated to the visual re-mediations of the figures of Paolo and Francesca in Inferno 5. With an introduction by Gaetano Lalomia and Giovanna Rizzarelli, and featuring essays and virtual exhibits by Marcello Ciccuto, Laura Pasquini, and others, the special issue covers in depth the rich history of iconographic reception, across various visual media, of the story of Dante’s star-crossed lovers in the 20th and 21st centuries. At right is a screenshot of selected contributions to the issue.

Read the full issue (with image gallery) here.

Read the introduction by Lalomia and Rizzarelli here.

“The Divine Comedy Like You’ve Never Seen Before”

“Take a peek inside! In a bustling studio in Brooklyn, New York, contemporary artist George Cochrane is immersed in a monumental challenge: to exquisitely letter and illustrate every page of Dante’s Divine Comedy, completely by hand – INCREDIBLE!

“George’s obsession with Dante is apparent through his achievement of painting hundreds of portraits of the poet over the years. But his dream has always been a simple one: to  and more attractive to younger generations.

“George recognized that the best medium to achieve his dream was a combination of the ancient illuminated manuscript and the modern graphic novel.

“This combination will equally delight Dante enthusiasts and first-time readers of the Divine Comedy.”   —Facsimile Finder, 2021

 

Uffizi honors the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death with virtual exhibit of Federico Zuccari’s illustrations (Jan. 1, 2021)

“MILAN (AP) — Florence’s Uffizi Gallery is making available for viewing online 88 rarely displayed drawings of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” to mark the 700th anniversary in 2021 of the Italian poet’s death.  The virtual show of high-resolution images of works by the 16th-Century Renaissance artist Federico Zuccari will be accessible from Friday [Dec. 31, 2020] “for free, any hour of the day, for everyone,” said Uffizi director Eike Schmidt.” […]  AP News, January 1, 2021

See the 88 drawings by Federico Zuccari (1540-1609) done between 1586-1588 while in Spain here.

Tom Phillips’ Illustrated Inferno (1983)

In 1983, English artist Tom Phillips translated and illustrated his own version of Dante’s Inferno.

Phillips intended that his illustrations should give a visual commentary to Dante’s texts. As he writes in his notebook, ‘The range of imagery matches Dante in breath encompassing everything from Greek mythology to the Berlin Wall, from scriptural reference to a scene in an abattoir, and from alchemical signs to lavatory graffiti.’ And the range of modes of expression is similarly wide, including as it does, early calligraphy, collage, golden section drawings, maps, dragons, doctored photographs, references to other past artworks and specially programmed computer generated graphics.

“‘I have tried in this present version of Dante’s Inferno which I have translated and illustrated to make the book a container for the energy usually expended on large scale paintings… The artist thus tries to reveal the artist in the poet and the poet helps to uncover/release the poet in the artist.’”   —Notes on Dante’s Inferno, Tom Phillips’ website

Phillips also co-directed A TV Dante with Peter Greenaway in 1986.

Read more about Tom Phillips here.