The Florentine: “Uffizi Pays Tribute To Dante With A Tree-Centric Exhibition”

uffizi-pays-tribute-to-dante-with-a-tree-centric-exhibition-the-florentine-2021“The City of Florence and the Uffizi Galleries are paying tribute to Dante Alighieri during the 700th anniversary year of the Florentine poet’s death with a maxi-tree installation and exhibition dedicated to Piedmontese artist Giuseppe Penone. Abete (Fir) will be inaugurated in Piazza della Signoria on March 25, the date when Dante is believed to have started writing his Divine Comedy and the date that the Italian government has dedicated to the writer as a symbol of Italian culture worldwide. The 22-metre-high tree by Penone is a preview of the Dante-centric contemporary art exhibition, which is scheduled to run at the Uffizi from June 1 to September 12. The title of the Uffizi show, Alberi In-Versi (Trees In-Verses), refers to a line in Dante’s Paradiso: ‘albero che vive della cima’ (18.28-30: ‘that tree / that thrives from summit down’). The verse pictures a place where the corporeal and conceptual worlds meet.” [. . .]    –Editorial Staff, The Florentine, March 10, 2021

“Une illustration de La Divine Comédie longue de 97 mètres”


“L’artiste turinois Enrico Mazzone a réalisé une œuvre, Rubedo, en hommage à Dante Alighieri. Il ne s’agit pas d’une œuvre au format traditionnel, mais de l’illustration de l’intégralité de La Divine Comédie, simulant la technique de la gravure lithographique, sur une feuille de papier de 97 mètres de long et de quatre mètres de haut. Une œuvre colossale, qui a débuté en 2015 en Finlande et s’est achevée à Ravenne, cinq années après, sur la mezzanine du Mercato Coperto (le marché couvert).

“Mais bientôt il sera possible de voir cet ouvrage depuis son propre ordinateur, des quatre coins du monde. Le Département du tourisme de la municipalité de Ravenne et le Laboratorio Aperto en ont en effet commandé la numérisation, qui a commencé le 6 février et se poursuivra jusqu’au 22 février 2021.” [. . .]    –Federica Malinverno, ActuaLitte, February 15, 2021.

The Florentine, “Make Like Dante: Everything You Need To Write Something Epic”

make-like-dante-everything-you-need-to-write-something-epic-the-florentine-2021“Before you plunge into your own artistic endeavor, perhaps you’d like to learn more about the man himself. Alexandra Lawrence’s The Divine Dante online course hosted by The British Institute is a six-week guided reading of Dante’s epic work, expertly delivered to make the overwhelming text more manageable and casting light on the many layers of meaning. Starting on March 9, details can be found at Already made your way through the three canticas? Alexandra is also running Dante and the Visual Arts, a three-session course looking at artistic culture during Dante’s day and how it made its way into his work. The classes will be held on March 11, 18 and 25, providing a visual feast to accompany your deep dive.” [. . .]    –TF x, The Florentine, March 3, 2021.


Jacek Lipowczan, “Dante Cycle”


Dante’s Way to Inferno

“Jacek Lipowczan signs his paintings as ‘JALI’. Jacek Lipowczan born in September 1951 in South Poland, studied on the Academy of  Fine Arts in Cracow and graduated in 1976 obtaining his Master of Art Degree in the Grafic Design in the atelier of Professor M. Wejman. His experience as junior scene designer in the team of Polish film Director Kazimierz Kutz introduced him to the works and projects of Andrzej Majewski. The fairy tale imaginative works of this Artist strongly influenced  Jacek Lipowczan’s future creativity and his artistic imagination.” [. . .]    –Jacek Lipowczan, Jacek Lipowczan Magical Dreams, 2018

The paintings from JaLi’s “Dante Cycle,” like the two images featured here, can be viewed in the virtual gallery on his website (2008 and 2009).


Passing Through—Dante Cycle

“Columbia Art League Exhibit Honors Dante With Visions of the Afterlife”

columbia-art-league-dante-visions-of-afterlife-2021“CAL’s current exhibit, The Divine Comedy, is grounded in Dante Alighieri’s medieval masterwork, a revealing, often harrowing pilgrimage through the stations of the afterlife. CAL artists responded to Dante’s themes, and everlasting concepts of life beyond our own, in personal and particular ways.

“Heaven, hell and purgatory are represented within these images, and relatively well-balanced, CAL education and outreach director Karen Shortt-Stout said. Given the existential troubles of 2020 and early 2021, she thought artists might bend in greater number toward the visual language of fire and brimstone.

“Dante nell’Inferno di Fukushima: Lorenzo Amato intervista Kazumasa Chiba”

On January 22, 2020, the journal Insula europea published Lorenzo Amato’s interview with Japanese visual artist Kazumasa Chiba, who, over the last twenty years, has dedicated his art to translating scenes from the Commedia into contemporary political and moral commentary. “Come su un palcoscenico teatrale,” writes Amato, “Chiba si ‘traveste’ da Dante e si muove in grandi paesaggi allegorici costruiti su elementi culturali ibridi, che derivano dal sincretismo di cultura popolare giapponese e tradizioni classiche occidentali e orientali, antiche e moderne.” In 2012 he was awarded the Toshiko Okamoto Award for his work that interprets the Fukushima earthquake and subsequent nuclear disaster as an Inferno in the manner of Dante.

Here’s a brief extract from Amato’s interview with Chiba:

“Dante nomina in modo molto chiaro le persone famose che secondo lui sono colpevoli di qualcosa, anche se sono ancora vive. Diciamo che questo tipo di poesia mi ha mostrato una possibile strada per affrontare con l’arte i problemi del mondo, e quindi anche sfogare la rabbia che a volte provo nei confronti di certe persone, politici o responsabili di avvenimenti importanti, come tutte le persone coinvolte nel disastro di Fukushima. Ogni volta che succedono disastri, o che vengono fatte scelte a livello politico che poi provocano conseguenze negative, provo una forte rabbia. È raro che le persone comuni possano avere un qualche impatto su quelle scelte, e a volte mi verrebbe voglia di mostrare il mio dissenso in forma di protesta anche violenta. In questo senso l’arte è un modo per sfogare questa rabbia, ma anche per lasciare un segno, ovvero per mostrare quello che penso.” — Kazumasa Chiba, in an interview with Lorenzo Amato, Insula europea, January 22, 2020

An exhibit of Chiba’s work, called “A Modern Interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy,” was shown at the Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo from August 21 to September 21, 2019.

Cheryl Sorg’s Nine Circles of Hell

Dante’s Inferno, cut apart line by line and assembled in readable order with clear tape onto a series of nine plexi circles approximately 20 inches in diameter and mounted onto a floor-to-ceiling height clear plexi road going through the centers of the discs.”    –Cheryl Sorg, from her website, 2019.

Cheryl Sorg is an artist from Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently based in Boston. She specializes in street art, collages, tape drawings, and photography, among other mediums.

To view more of Sorg’s artwork, you can visit her website.

Le LA du Monde a film directed by Ghislaine Avan

“Tap-dancer, choreographer, and video artist, Ghislaine Avan has been working since 2006 to achieve a choreographic and transmedia work inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy.

“The diptych includes a choreographic ensemble of 10 pieces entitled Seuil (Threshold), and a film entitled Le LA du Monde, the result of filming, since 2006, people around the world, from all backgrounds, nationalities and in all languages, reading an excerpt from Dante’s poem.”

Of the project’s goals, the artist lists the following:

  • “Celebrating on September 14, 2021, the 700th Anniversary of Dante’s death.
  • “Realizing/Creating a worldwide installation entitled Divine Babel: the simultaneous screening of the film Le LA du Monde with the 100 cantos of the Comedy projected on 100 screens, located in 100 different places around the world.
  • “Representing all continents to make this Babel truly divine.”

View the English trailer for “Le LA du Monde” on YouTube.

Contributed by Ghislaine Avanghi

Dante’s Inferno: The Game (2015 visual novel game)

Contributor Savannah Mikus comments, “Dante’s Inferno – The Game. An anime style visual novel game. This game was created by ‘LIAR’ a group of four students: Vee, Lightneng, Saphire, and R. The game was posted online on Ren’Py Games for the public on June 3, 2015.”

The creators describe their game as follows: “Based off the classic, Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri, a group of four classmates created a visual novel in a modern setting for the story to provide easier understanding of the book. It is for-fun adventure we did for class, but since we put so much work into it, we decided to post it to the public too!” — Ren’Py Games

See Ren’Py Games for more information and/or to download the game.

Contributed by Savannah Mikus (Florida State University BA ’20, MA ’22)

Rachel Owen’s Inferno Illustrations


Image from the Pembroke College Twitter feed

Rachel Owen: The Inferno Illustrations displays 34 photographic prints of mixed-media collage works, created in response to the Inferno in the Divine Comedy, a 14th century poem by the Italian poet Dante. This exhibition marks the culmination of Rachel Owen’s (1968 – 2016) lifelong academic and artistic engagement with the text.

“The Cardiff-born printmaker studied Fine Art and Italian at the University of Exeter and painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. She attained a PhD in the ‘History of Illuminated Manuscripts of Dante’s Commedia’ at the University of London in 2001. Until her death in December 2016, she taught Italian Literature in Pembroke, and at other colleges within the University of Oxford.” — Pembroke College Events

The exhibition of Owen’s work at the Pembroke College JCR Art Gallery ran from October 18 to December 1, 2017.