Remembering Michael Mazur’s Illustrations of the Inferno

michael-mazur-dies-at-73“Michael Mazur, a relentlessly inventive printmaker, painter and sculptor whose work encompassed social documentation, narrative and landscape while moving back and forth between figuration and abstraction, died on Aug. 18 in Cambridge, Mass. He was 73 and lived in Cambridge and Provincetown, Mass. [. . .]

“While attending Amherst College he studied with the printmaker and sculptor Leonard Baskin, who was teaching at Smith College. After taking a year off to study in Italy, where his lifelong fascination with Dante began, he received a bachelor’s degree in 1957 and went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine art from the Yale School of Art and Architecture. [. . .]

michael-mazur-dies-at-73“After seeing an exhibition of Degas monotypes at the Fogg Museum in 1968, he began exploring that medium, most notably in the monumental Wakeby landscapes of 1983, depicting Wakeby Lake on Cape Cod, and in a series of illustrations for Robert Pinsky’s translation of Dante’s Inferno, published in 1994.” [. . .]    –William Grimes, The New York Times, August 29, 2009

Contributed by Richard Lindemann (2006)

See also the 2020 exhibit of Mazur’s work at the Albert Merola Gallery in Provincetown, Mass.

“Yale Press Bans Images of Muhammad in New Book”

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“So Yale University and Yale University Press consulted two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism, and the recommendation was unanimous: The book, “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” should not include the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. What’s more, they suggested that the Yale press also refrain from publishing any other illustrations of the prophet that were to be included, specifically, a drawing for a children’s book; an Ottoman print; and a sketch by the 19th-century artist Gustave Dore’ of Muhammad being tormented in Hell, an episode from Dante’s Inferno that has been depicted by Botticelli, Blake, Rodin and Dali'” [. . .]    –Patricia Cohen, The New York Times, August 12, 2009

Randall Graham and Alex Gross, “Da Vino Commedia”

randall-graham-and-alex-gross-da-vino-commedia

See the full text of Bonny Doon Vineyard’s “The Vinferno.”

Also cited at Mae’s Cafe and Bakery in Bath, Maine by Anna Schember (Bowdoin, ’12).

Ty Templeton, “Stig’s Inferno” (1980s)

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This 1980s series ran for 8 volumes and was loosely based on Dante’s Inferno. See the full book at Templetons.

Cover of “The New Yorker,” April 21, 1997

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Seen in the Edward Sorel illustration are three tiers of political sinners: “Politicians Who Promised to Cut Taxes,” “Politicians Who Promised to Balance the Budget,” and finally (and most egregiously) “Politicians Who Promised to Cut Taxes and  Balance the Budget” (detail shown below).

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John Agard and Satoshi Kitamura, “The Young Inferno” (2008)

john-agard-and-satoshi-kitamura-the-young-inferno-2008“A funky and powerful book. Agard takes Dante’s famous poem about a visit to Hell and reworks it to appeal to today’s youngsters, mingling 21st Century street cred with ancient mythology. Kitamura’s stylized black and white illustrations draw the reader effortlessly in.” [. . .]    —Amazon

Contributed by Virginia Jewiss (Humanities Program, Yale University)

Virginia Jewiss, “Il Viaggio di Dante: Un’avventura Infernale” (2008)

il-viaggio-di-dante-un-avventura-infernale-2008A children’s book.
Text: Virginia Jewiss
Illustrations: Aline Cantono di Ceva
Idea: Christiana Castenetto
Italian version found on IBS.

An English version is also available: “Dante’s Journey: An Infernal Adventure.”

Sandow Birk’s Illustrations of the “Divine Comedy”

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“A five year project which involved adapting the text of the entire “Divine Comedy” into contemporary slang and setting the action in contemporary urban America. The project resulted in three, limited edition books, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Each book contained more than 60 original lithographs and was published by Trillium Press in San Francisco.”    —Sandow Birk

See also: Sandow Birk’s film “Dante’s Inferno” (2007)

Sarah Symmons, “John Flaxman and Francisco Goya: Infernos Transcribed”

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Read the full article from Burlington Magazine (1971) at JStor.

Contributed by Susan Wegner

Janet Van Fleet, Sculptures for “A Guided Tour of Dante’s Inferno”

janet-van-fleet-inferno-sculptures-ugolino-and-ruggieri   janet-van-fleet-inferno-sculptures-minotaur

“The Inferno of Dante Alighieri,” a rhymed translation by Seth Zimmerman with illustrations by Janet Van Fleet

Learn more at Inferno Dante and see the book on Amazon.