Dante’s Vision and the Artist: Four Modern Illustrators of the Commedia

Jean-Pierre Barricelli

Dante's Vision and the Artist: Four Modern Illustrators of the Commedia
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Dante’s Vision and the Artist: Four Modern Illustrators of the Commedia

Jean-Pierre Barricelli

This book explores the interconnections of Dante’s Divine Comedy and four modern painters: Nattini, Rauschenberg, Dali, and Phillipps. It argues for Dante’s painterly vision, and in this context establishes the medieval poet as a pre-Renaissance presence, pointing to his Classical, naturalistic manner of seeing, among other things, the human figure. His optic, Barricelli maintains, is so forceful that it has imposed its anatomical realism on most illustrators from the Renaissance (epitomized by Michelangelo) down to the present. The premise holds through the poetic realism of Nattini, the socio-political expressionism of Rauschenberg, the psychological surrealism and devout religiosity of Dali, and the pictorial figurative and non-figurative art of Phillipps.

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