“In Visions of Heaven, renowned scholar Martin Kemp investigates Dante’s supreme vision of divine light and its implications for the visual artists who were the inheritors of Dante’s vision. The whole book may be regarded as a new Paragone (comparison), the debate that began in the Renaissance about which of the arts is superior. Dante’s ravishing accounts of divine light set painters the severest challenge, which took them centuries to meet. A major theme running through Dante’s Divine Comedy, particularly in its third book, the Paradiso, centres on Dante s acts of seeing (conducted according to optical rules with respect to the kind of visual experience that can be accomplished on earth) and the overwhelming of Dante s earthly senses by heavenly light, which does not obey his rules of earthly optics. [. . .] Published to coincide with the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, this hugely original book combines a close reading of Dante’s poetry with analysis of early optics and the art of the Renaissance and Baroque to create a fascinating, wide-ranging and visually exciting study.” — Amazon (retrieved October 18, 2021)
“Black, a distinguished psychoanalyst as well as a poet, provides an introduction and commentary to this masterpiece by Dante from a contemporary point of view in this bilingual edition.” [. . .] —Amazon (retrieved on October 20, 2021)
“Lines & Faces, the collaboration of artist/printer Robert Woods and writer/translator Alan Bern, is engaged in a project based on Dante’s Commedia: illustrated broadsides available to view at linesandfaces.com/divine-comedy. In these broadsides we attempt to capture and respond to central moments within Dante’s canti. As a poet and translator, Alan enjoys responding to Robert’s images in both our Dante work and in other projects (also available on our website, linesandfaces.com). At other times Robert responds to Alan’s words. We also work on parallel tracks and combine our work successfully. All three modes function very well after almost fifty years of producing broadsides together.
“In working to capture these Dante moments, we operate in a mode similar to that of haiku writers and haiga artists. Robert and Alan decide together on small sections of Dante and respond to them: Alan translates them into poetry (the middle panels), and then he creates a modern association to his work (the third panels). Robert creates a graphic work that illuminates the chosen moment,and he pulls all the elements together with his broadside design.” –Alan Bern, in private email communication
In addition to their illustrations and translations from the Commedia we invite Dante Today readers to check out Bern’s translation of Dante’s sestina Al poco giorno e al gran cerchio d’ombra with an accompanying image from Woods.
Contributed by Alan Bern
Ying Zheng was born and grew up in Shanxi, China, where she received her first Master’s degree from Shanxi University, and has since been working for the Foreign Languages Department of Taiyuan Normal University. In 2013-14, she visited Peking University, where she took a Dante course with Professor Thomas Rendall. In late 2014, she started to write poems in English. Her first poem, a sonnet sequence written in the terza rima form, was dedicated to her lifelong mentor Professor Rendall. In 2019, she earned her second Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, UK. On 14 June 2021, her ekphrastic poem “Dante and Beatrice” was published in Forum Italicum. Her English translation of Mu Yang’s poem “Loneliness” appeared in An Anthology of Chinese Poetry, 2020. Her most recent English translations of three poems by Ta Bei – “Qingxi Lake in Dusk,” “Drunk on Mao-Tai Liquor,” and “Morning Scene” – can be found here. Her ekphrastic poem “Out of the Ante-Inferno,” one of the selected artworks from the Dante 700th London competition, is on display in London through September 2021. She is currently pursuing PhD studies at Renmin University of China, Beijing, China.
Visit the 3D exhibition here
DANTE 700TH London
3rd – 30th September 2021
Dante Society London 22, Bryanston Mews West London W1H 2DD
Visits to the exhibition by appointment only. Contact us by mail.
The exhibition with the participation of a collective of artists from Italy, the United Kingdom, China and the United States of America will take place in London at the Dante Society London premises, during the month of September 2021. The artists accepted the invitation to explore and interpret Dante’s writing and its relevance in the 21st century, each with their own unique artistic brilliance. The original interpretations represent an exceptional panorama that celebrates Dante’s anniversary in a special manner and offers a contemporary perspective in the various artistic and multimedia representations.
The selected artists of Dante 700th London:
Bianca Froese-Acquaye, Despina Symeou, Emilio Guazzone, Francesco Filippini, Giuseppe Pipino, Iluà Hauck da Silva, Jackie Carter, Kat Mustatea, Laura Parker, Louise Marchal, Maurizio Coglia, Michela Papavassiliou, Paolo Rambelli, Rocco Epifanio, Shadi Almualem, Teresa Cecchi and la classe di chimica ITT ‘G.E.Montani, Ying Zheng.
Dante 700th London Prize Jury: Alexandra Lawrence, Dario Pisano, Patrizia Poggi.
Our most heartfelt thanks for supporting this initiative.
The winner of the exclusive interview granted by London One Radio, the first Italian radio in the United Kingdom is: Kat Mustatea
Awarded for Voidopolis – a digital performance about loss and memory currently unfolding on her Instagram feed @kmustatea