‘The Divine Comedy’

Works on paper from wood blocks

Only $395

Equestrain Parade autumn-sonata-1945


Created over 50 years ago, signed in the block and extremely well preserved.

“The Divine Comedy” is arguably the most ambitious and famous book illustration project ever undertaken by Salvador Dali – and I’m going to be talking about this monumental effort over the next several blog posts.

Just as the poem’s 13th century author, Dante Alighieri, did a remarkable job on this iconic masterpiece of Italian literature, Dali, too, poured his heart and soul into a tale that seemed ideally matched to the Spanish master’s sensibilities. “The Divine Comedy” describes Dante’s imaginary tour of Hell (Inferno), Purgatory and finally Paradise (Heaven) in 99 verses or Cantos.

On Dante’s journey, he’s accompanied by the Roman poet, Virgil. And in purgatory he meets Beatrice, who ultimately leads him into Paradise (Beatrice did actually exist in Dante’s life; she was the daughter of a Florentine noble family, and Dante – who adored her – immortalized her in many of his literary works).

Salvador Dali, through his 100 watercolor drawings that were later converted to wood blocks – each part of a Canto or book chapter about eight pages in length – captured the spirit, energy, and spectacle of Dante’s journey like no one else could. From the anguished burden exuded in the work, “The Avaricious and the Prodigal” from the Inferno Book; to the voluptuously erotic “The Dream” from the Purgatory Book; to the mystical feeling of “The Creation of the Angels” from the Paradise Book, Dali’s colorful and dynamic images stir the imagination and embrace the literary soul of the great poet, Dante.

When the subject of Salvador Dali prints comes up, “The Divine Comedy” leaps instantly to mind, for it is something of a heroic creative project that virtually defines Dali in the world of print-making, and is among the most sought-after creations from the ingenious mind of the 20th century’s greatest artist.

HEAVEN

Saint George and the Dragon
Dante The Angel The First Sphere
Beatrice New Image of Beatrice The Sphere of Mercury
Dante's New Doubt The Highest Beauty of Beatrice The Sphere of Venus
The Angel of the Sun Opposition The Shine of Glorious Bodies
Thus was the Earth Created Christ's Apparition Dante's Ecstacy
The Ancestor's Apparition The Divine Foreknowledge Beatrice's Splendor
The Language of the Bird The Sixth Sphere of Jupiter The Mystic Ladder
The Angel of the Seventh Sphere The Triumph of Christ and the Virgin The Joy of the Blessed
Saint James and Hope Dante Recovers his Sight Gloria Patri
The Walk Toward God The Creation of the Angels To the Empyrean
The Archangel Gabriel Preparation for the Final Prayer Saint Bernard's Prayer


HELL

Saint George and the Dragon
Departure for the Great Journey Virgil Comforts Dante Charon and the Shore of Acheron
Limbo Minos Cerberus
The Avaricious and the Prodigal The Angry Ones The Furies
The Heretics On the Edge of the Seventh Bolgia The Minotaur
The Forest of Suicides The Blasphemers The Inhabitants of Prato
The Apparition of Dis The Black Devil The Users
The Hard Margins The Fraudulent Ones The Simonists
The Treacherous to their Hosts The Prevaricators The Giants
The Thieves The Centaur Diviners and Sorcerers
The Personators Bertan De Horn The Men Who Devour Each Other
The Mount of Geryon The Treacherous to the Homeland The Punishment of the Hypocrites
   
  A Devil Logician  

 

PURGATORY

Saint George and the Dragon
Dante Purified The Earthly Paradise Dante's Confession
Announcement of the Great Event Meeting of Dante and Beatrice The Devine Forest
The Last Words of Virgil Meeting of Two Groups of Lustful Ones Mounting the Seventh Terrace: Lust
The Tree of Penitence Gluttony Prodigality
The Source Avarice and Prodigality Dante's Dream
The Fourth Terrace: Accidia Leaving the Terrace of Anger In the Cloud of the Angry Ones
Envy A Spirit Questions Dante The Second Terrace
The Beauty of Sculptures The Proud Ones Virgil's Face
The Dream The Guardian Angels of the Valley Princes of the Biossoming Valley
Death by Violence Virgil's Reproaches The Negligent Ones
The Indolent Ones The Ship of Souls The Fallen Angel