THE DRAWINGS FOR FANTE'S DIVINE COMEDY
Category: Xix century art (1789 - 1920)
Celebrated around the world as a literary monument, The Divine Comedy, completed in 1321 and written by Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) is widely considered the greatest work ever composed in the Italian language. The epic poem describes Dante's journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, representing, on a deeper level, the soul's path towards salvation. In the last few years of his life, Romantic poet and artist William Blake (1757–1827) produced 102 illustrations for Dante’s masterwork, from pencil sketches to finished watercolors. Like Dante's sweeping poem, Blake's drawings range from scenes of infernal suffering to celestial light, from horrifying human disfigurement to the perfection of physical form. While faithful to the text, Blake also brought his own perspective to some of Dante's central themes.