Andy Warhol at Ristorante Dante e Beatrice (Naples, Italy, circa 1980)

Andy Warhol at Ristorante Dante e Beatrice (Naples, Italy) circa 1980
Copyright © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc
Stanford University Libraries

Contributed by Sabrina Lin (Bowdoin College, ’21)

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.

 

Apparitions from the Inferno

A series of Black and White photographs produced using alternative manual processes, featuring scenes from Dante’s Divine Comedy.

[. . .]

Many of my previous works have referenced classical literature and mythology (Hamlet, Maenads, etc). The subject of this project involves creating intimate portraits of characters referenced in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. Specifically, I will be illustrating a number of souls from the first book in the series: The Inferno. I have had a long standing interest in the graphic quality and descriptiveness that Dante dictates in this work, and I believe that my photographic style and choice of medium will do great justice in giving life to these characters. I greatly admire the works of the Great Illustrator/Printmaker Gustave Dore, and my favorite contemporary Artist/Printmaker Barry Moser, who have both produced amazing images inspired by Dante. In the works of the aforementioned artists, high contrast renderings of often graphic and disturbing images are manifested through their respective mediums to present a dark underworld and its inhabitants as described by Dante. My intention is to bring Dante’s characters out of the realm of illustration and breath life into them through photographic realization, thereby actualizing their spirits (in a very surreal and ethereal manner) as real people.”    –John Ransom, Kickstarter, August 3, 2013

“Hypnosis”


“I stumbled upon this image, titled ‘Hypnosis’, while looking through a fashion editorial earlier this week. The shot features model Jourdan Dunn dressed in Iris Van Herpen. It was lensed by Nick Knight and styled by Edward Enninful. The image will be included in British Vogue’s current November issue [2019].

“The shot immediately reminds me of Dante’s entrance into earthly Paradise (in particular, it reminds me of Amos Nattini’s rendition of the scene). The similarity between the colors used, compositions of the frames, and the depictions of Beatrice is, to me, undeniable.”    –Contributor Wade Pryor

Contributed by Wade Pryor, Harvard ’20

Matelda, too!

Monster Children – The Gates of Hell

monster-children-the-gates-of-hell

Photo by Kealan Shilling

Rumour has it, this entrance leads to seven layers of interconnecting tunnels (the seven layers of hell) and that somewhere within them, is a room where you come face to face with Lucifer himself.

The ‘Gates of Hell,’ is a series of water runoffs and underground tunnels located in Clifton, about an hour outside of downtown Manhattan.

“We passed several dry, smaller openings and eventually we came to a larger room with three tunnels, one of which smells a bit and is marked comedically, ‘…not the gate to hell…'”    — Kealan Shilling, Monster Children, May 25, 2016

“Internal Inferno,” Issue Three of Teeth Magazine (UK)

Teeth-Magazine-Internal-Inferno-Covers

“These awe-inspiring photographers, writers, stylists, artists, musicians and models manifest an electric, celestial world that uncovers today’s limitless counterculture with forthright and subversive depictions of sex, style, anatomy, nature, religion, and contemporary connections. Each uninhibited story in this issue takes you on an unconventional, intercontinental journey that will tease you, please you and possibly leave you searching for water in a desperate bid to quench the flames.” — Teeth Magazine

Weegee : King of the Nighttime Streets


Weegee (Ascher Fellig, 1899-1968), a New York City photographer, “was the Dante of New York’s nighttime demimonde. His photos, of swells and speakeasies, crime and crowds, or perps and play, are a singular record of New York City in the 1930s and ’40s.”    -David Gonzalez, The New York Times, September 28, 2017

Fiona Hall’s Divine Comedy Polaroids (1988)

Inferno-V-Lustful-Fiona-Hall-Polaroid-Photograph

Artist : Fiona Hall (Australia, b.1953)
Title : Inferno, canto V: The circle of the lustful (1988)
Medium Description: Polaroid photograph

“This photograph from the late 1980s is from a series of twelve Polaroid photographs relating directly to Dante’s Divine Comedy. Each work is a carefully constructed scene illustrating a particular canto. Technically the artist has made the most of the cumbersome 20 x 40 inch Polaroid camera, using it to render exquisite detail and to capture subtle colour. She cuts and moulds aluminium soft-drink cans to form menacing vegetation, human figures, creatures from beyond the grave, on the journey through Hell and Purgatory to Paradise. Hall photographs them amongst found objects set against backgrounds which she has painted.” —Art Gallery of New South Wales website

View the whole collection of photographs at the Art Galley of New South Wales site.

“EverAfter” Photographs by Claudia Rogge (2011)

everafter-photographs-by-claudia-rogge-2011“…Le opere in esposizione sono liberamente ispirate alla Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri, presentano i segni della pittura rinascimentale e manierista o i tableaux vivants messi in scena da Pier Paolo Pasolini in alcuni suoi lavori. L’Inferno, il Purgatorio e il Paradiso sono l’elemento di riferimento per l’elaborazione di domande sul confine ancestralmente labile tra bene e male; vizi e passioni sono le cifre di un sentire umano in continuo cammino verso direzioni confliggenti ed interdipendenti. La nudita’ e il bell’aspetto dei soggetti raffigurati rappresentano una sorta di perfezione terrena formale, limitata e necessariamente proiettata verso una dimensione diversa, piu’ completa, mentale e interiore; la folla alza le braccia al cielo per osannare, supplicare o maledire, a seconda del girone.” [. . .]    —La Citta’ di Salerno, October 17, 2011

See Also: Galleria Verrengia, October 21 – December 3, 2011, Salerno, Italy.

Contributed by Davida Gavioli

Yola Monakhov, “Photography After Dante” (2010)

yola-monakhov-photography-after-dante-2010

“For this body of work, Monakhov used Dante’s Divine Comedy as a source and framework for creating photographs in contemporary Italy. Her approach intended to bring together a canonical text and contemporary life, using the poem to investigate conventions of the photographic medium.
Monakhov’s method involved establishing an active relationship with her Italian subjects, who were well versed in their native Dante. She noted their reactions to moments in the poem, and linked these with her own reading and photographic vision. Photographing in Italy, she discovered that when she explained her project to her subjects, they not only intuitively grasped her premise, they also reacted to and enacted it. One subject, Paola, implored the photographer: ‘Please do not put me in the Inferno,’ as though this first stage of the pilgrim’s journey were a real place, rather than a poet’s construct.
Monakhov does not stage illustrations. Rather, she uses photography to start and record a very real conversation about Dante with the people who read him and for whom the poem is still very much alive. She uses a range of approaches, from formal portrait sessions to verite’ photography. Just as the text draws on numerous literary registers to evoke the atmosphere and context relevant for each occasion, Monakhov deploys a variety of photographic methods. She uses large format, medium format, and 35mm black-and-white film.”    —Sasha Wolf Gallery