This is the fourth Over Underworld release, a online art exhibit of paintings and sketches in March 2020. Featured art: Pages from my Dante’s Inferno sketchbook, Cantos 1 and 2.
Since Italy has its first national Dante holiday this year on March 25, I’m releasing Dante sketches instead of paintings for the next few posts. May celebrating his poetry help Italy heal .
We are Dante. The poem opens to a scene of attack and menace. The lion is ambition to rule, the despot. The leopard is worldly luxury and lust, hedonism, consumerism. The wolf of avarice, of greed, is always hungry. After she eats, after feeding, she is hungrier than before, literally insatiable. Dante is lost in the woods, and all is lost.
I choose to see Dante as a guide through Underworlds, the times when we are trapped, in despair, lost, yet we know we are somehow on a journey, a lonely road. We need our guides. Virgil is Wisdom, who guides us through the “arduous and savage”way.
He also calls on his beloved Beatrice, who has died and gone to heaven. She appears with her girlfriends: Rachel, who symbolizes contemplation, and Lucia, who is clear vision, eyesight, and light. They indicate their approval of his journey, and then we don’t see them again for a long time. They are all making a brief visit from heaven. Hell is not their style.
So gather your friends: Wisdom from the past, Light, Meditation, Divine Love. Dante needed his beloveds to help him continually trust that he would have guidance during his pilgrimage . I noted that “Hell is forgetting that there is a paradise.” Keep to your dream-path. It’s actually a Divine Comedy, even if we walk through Tragedy along the Way. Suzanne
Featured work: Pages from my Dante’s Inferno illustrated notes. Not for sale.You may share this freely.
Events in 2020
March 25, Wednesday, is Dante Day in Italy, a new annual national holiday to honor Dante. I will be storytelling from my Dante sketchbook at Saltworkstudio via Facebook Live. See event for more details. FB live times: 10 AM, 1PM and 5 PM.
March-April 2020: Over Underworld: New Work, a virtual art exhibit of paintings and sketches released on Saltworkstudio, Facebook, and Instagram. #dantedi #dantesketchbook #overunderworld #saltworkstudio #divinacommedia