Last Tuesday, it was 14,700 years since the death of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. Like Miguel de Cervantes, Dante is the author of one of the greatest books in world literature, one of those books that provide the world with symbols that linger long after his time. The Divine Comedy, his greatest work, is not only the story of man’s journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven – places we must remember in the Middle Ages – it is also an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists. A sample of this can be seen in an exhibition that opened today at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, on the pictures that inspired Dante painter Sandro Botticelli.
Commemoration of the genre also includes new editions of the poet’s work. “A Divina Comédia”, of which there was already a relatively recent Portuguese version by Vasco Graça Moura, will also have other poetry by Jorge Vaz de Carvalho, in a version of the Imprensa Nacional. The same is true in other countries, with the poem being fully or partially re-translated. (In the United States, someone noted that this time attention seems to have been directed specifically to Purgatory, the only part of the poem set on Earth.)
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