Contributed by Robert Jones (Louisiana State University, Alexandria ’19)
“VATICAN CITY (RNS) — In preparation for the 700 anniversary of the death of medieval poet Dante Alighieri, a Canadian artist is creating a sculptural tribute to his ‘Divine Comedy’ that would be the first sculptural rendition of the entire poem.
“‘In our culture Dante is becoming lost,’ said sculptor Timothy Schmalz in an interview with Religion News Service on Monday (July 20).
“Not only is Dante less and less required reading, Schmalz said, but his ‘Divine Comedy’ is often misrepresented by putting the focus only on the first part — the descriptions of hell and its fiery punishments.
“The Italian poet captivated generations by telling his imaginary journey through hell, purgatory and heaven. His use of popular Italian dialect in his writing, instead of the more high-brow Latin, earned him a title as the ‘Father of the Italian Language.’
“’Because I am a Christian sculptor I will right this wrong,’ Schmalz said. ‘I will do what has never been done before in the history of sculpture, which is to create a sculpture for each canto of the ”Divine Comedy.”” –Claire Giangravé, America, 2020
Read the full article here.
“I challenge this romantic notion of love. I see this Beatrice we know as an invention of Dante’s imagination. Here Dante, near death, is remembering the young beautiful Beatrice as he conjured her, never even having had an intimate conversation or ever having touched her. Did he regret having constrained himself by other peoples’ standards? Or did it bring him peace to keep her safely, purely, in his head? Did she know? Did she love him back? As he lay dying he imagines she is on the other side waiting to greet him. His isolated hand reaches out longingly but touches her only on the very pages that he wrote.” —Heidi Wastweet
Heidi Wastweet is a leading American Medallist and sculptor working in the San Francisco Bay area. In conjunction with a wide variety of private mints she has produced over 1000 coins, medals, and tokens since 1987. […]”.
—American Medallic Sculpture Association
Contributed by Ying Zheng
“In preparation for the 700th anniversary of the death of medieval poet Dante Alighieri, a Canadian artist is creating a sculptural tribute to his Divine Comedy that would be the first sculptural rendition of the entire poem.
‘In our culture Dante is becoming lost,’ said sculptor Timothy Schmalz in an interview with Religion News Service on Monday (July 20).
Not only is Dante less and less required reading, Schmalz said, but his Divine Comedy is often misrepresented by putting the focus only on the first part — the descriptions of hell and its fiery punishments.
[. . .]
There are 100 cantos in the poem, which have previously been represented in etchings and drawings by the likes of Sandro Botticelli, Gustave Doré and William Blake, but Schmalz would be the first to represent the full poem through sculpture.
‘I realized why it hasn’t been done before,’ he said. ‘It’s so much work.'” –Claire Giangravé, Religion News Service, July 21, 2020
“The Uffizi is providing Dante-centric artworks for the major exhibition Dante. The Vision of Art held in Forlì from March 12 to July 4, 2021.
The show is part of the nationwide celebrations for the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, but also aims to symbolize the rebirth of Italy and the art world.
The project is based on an idea by Eike Schmidt, director of the Gallerie degli Uffizi, and Gianfranco Brunelli, director of major exhibitions of the Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi di Forlì, while Professors Antonio Paolucci and Professor Fernando Mazzocca are the show curators. The decision to hold the exhibition in Forlì is part of an overall strategy to promote the area that acts as a natural bridge between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. Dante sought refuge in Forlì in the Autumn of 1302 after leaving Arezzo. The poet stayed with the city’s noble ruling family, the Ordelaffi, for more than a year.
Several works will be loaned to Forlì by the Uffizi, including Andrea del Castagno’s portraits of Dante and Farinata degli Uberti, which are not usually not public view in Florence, given their placement in the San Pier Scheraggio church, which is where the council met on which Dante once served. A second Dante portrait, by Cristofano dell’Altissimo, will be displayed in the Forlì exhibition. Pontormo’s Exile from Paradise and a Michelangelo’s drawing depicting a doomed man in Divine Comedy’s Inferno, in addition to a selection of fine sketches by Federico Zuccari for the 500th illustrated edition of the text. Other highlights include a marble bust of Virgil by the eighteenth-century sculptor Carlo Albacini, and the nineteenth-century canvas by Tuscan proto-romantic Nicola Monti, titled Francesca da Rimini in the Inferno.” –Editorial Staff, The Florentine, July 10, 2020