2716 - Auguste Rodin and Dante Alighieri: "Abandon All Hope All, Ye Who Enter Here"
500 years after Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy began circulating, August Rodin chose this “literary sculptor” as his reference point for the design of a decorative door for a new Parisian museum in 1880, the massive Gates of Hell. Rodin’s resulting “Noah’s Ark” of figures in this masterpiece comprises many of his most notable works. While the museum was never built and the final bronze casting of Rodin’s work was not completed until after his death, there is little doubt that Rodin’s revolutionary artistry created indelible works of “devils…hidden in the damned…[amid] a hell of tenderness and pity” (Anatole France). What does Rodin’s self-described “romance of the ruins” embody of Dante’s tortured souls, and what signposts to Paradise might we discover along the way? We will use the NCMA as a classroom laboratory to take at least two “field trips” to the Rodin gallery and courtyard. Dante’s “The Inferno” will also comprise a large portion of our study and discussion. This is both an art and literature course. Lecture (plus Questions)Facilitated DiscussionViewing Videos
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