Liam Ó Broin’s Commedia Lithographs (2021)

Inferno-17-Usurers-Liam-O-Broin-Lithographs

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.

Paradiso 17 in t.v. show Community

In the TV Series Community Episode 12 of Season 5, “Basic Story,” an insurance appraiser goes to Greendale Community College to determine the value of the school. The appraiser climbs the first step of the school’s stairs and recites Paradiso XVII, 58-60.

Contributed by Chiara Montera (University of Pittsburgh ’21)

My Phone Demon Made Me Buy…

adult baby blanket
“I’m not sure at what point I said ‘I’d love to be swaddled in an adult baby blanket’ loud enough for the ad-targeting demon in my iPhone to hear me, but like Virgil leading me through the nine rings of Amazon hell, I was ultimately guided down to adult baby blanket Paradiso. Now that I own this organic cotton muslin gauzy piece of heaven, I need to pass on its cozy ways.”   –Marissa Rosenblum, Refinery29, April 8, 2021

Contributed by Kate McKee (Bowdoin, ’22)

Emma Safe’s “Between Three Worlds”

emma-safe-betwee-three-worlds-paradiso-1-2014-trasumanar-head-first

“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.

Detective Dante Comics (2005-2007)

“The comic book series Detective Dante is loosely based on the Divine Comedy. Not only is the protagonist named Dante, but the whole series is divided into three parts called Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. The first issues in particular contain many references and textual quotations of Dante’s poem.”   –Contributor Alessio Aletta

The series was created by Lorenzo Baroli and Roberto Recchioni. It was published by Eura Editoriale from 2005-2007.

See the gallery of cover images on the Grand Comics Database.

Contributed by Alessio Aletta (University of Toronto)

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

Magnum X Dante– Limited edition ice cream pops inspired by the Comedy

Limited edition ice cream pops made in honor of the 700th anniversary od Dante’s death.  Purgatorio pop arriving in May-June, and Paradiso pop in July-August.

“Magnum, la più alta espressione del piacere nel mondo del gelato, celebra Dante con un omaggio alla sua Divina Commedia, la più alta espressione d’arte della storia della letteratura italiana.  A 700 anni dalla morte del Sommo Poeta, arrivano tre limited edition dedicate alle tre cantiche Dantesche, per vivere un’esperienza coinvolgente e sorprendente.  Un viaggio che inizia dal gusto intrigante dell’inferno, per poi assaporare la dimensione multi-sensoriale del purgatorio e raggiungere il suo apice con il piacere puro e delicato del paradiso.”   —Magnum

Contributed by Brandon Essary

The “Maze” in Westworld

Cristian Ispir, Associate Fellow of the Centre de Recherche Universitaire Lorrain d’Histoire, writes, “The influence of Dante on the HBO series Westworld is as subtle as it is undeniable. The focal point of Season 1 is the ‘Maze’, an elusive place/concept represented by a schematic labyrinth having a human figure at its centre, analogous to the human effigy in Paradiso 33 (“painted with our effigy” [Par. 33.131]) which symbolises the accomplishment of human self-understanding and the end-point of Dante’s upward journey. In the simulacrum that is Westworld, the Dantean idea of reaching self-knowledge through a labyrinthine guided pilgrimage is key to the emancipation of the artificial ‘hosts’ from the engineered universe they inhabit and a kind of trasumanar available to each agent endowed with free will. The Westworld theme park becomes an existential iteration of the Comedy moving through vertical worlds away from ignorance and towards self-realisation.”

See Cristian Ispir’s blog Biblonia, where he often posts on Dante.

Jasmine Serna’s Measuring Love with Cups

“One of the most profound ways I’ve learned to see the world is based off a lesson in a class I took about Dante’s The Divine Comedy. My professor Dr. Glyer was explaining Dante’s vision of heaven in Paradiso.

“She brought up many different sized cups to the front of the classroom — some were tall and skinny, others short and wide, some small, others big. She explained that the cups represented each person’s capacity to love. The bigger the cup, the bigger the capacity to love.

“She explained that our cups were always changing while we’re alive. All of our little daily actions — from returning an item someone dropped, to listening to a friend in need, to showing patience for children — increase or decrease our cup size.

“Then she explained that in Dante’s spheres of heaven, the cup size we end up with at the end of our lives determines where we’ll end up in heaven. No matter our cup size, though, all of our cups will be completely full.”   –Jasmine Serna, Medium, 2019

Madeleine Klebanoff-O’Brien, drawings of Dante’s cosmos

 

Harvard University undergraduate, Madeleine Klebanoff-O’Brien, ’22, “whose research focused on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, concluded her fellowship by creating a fully image-based research product. She illustrated Dante’s entire cosmos with visual details pulled from Houghton sources, including depictions of Earth’s elements inspired by medieval astronomical texts and drawings of angels based on 14th-century woodcuts. To explain the map’s symbolic elements to an average viewer, Klebanoff-O’Brien also made an image-based commentary…”    –Anna Burgess

See full article with many images, Anna Burgess, The Harvard Gazette, September 23, 2020