Dante a Confronto, great artists of the past encounter the supreme poet

At the Limonaia of the Palagio Fiorentino in Stia, exhibition inaugurates the Dante Festival 700

Locandina mostra Dante a Confronto

The exhibition titled “Dante a confronto” was inaugurated on Saturday June 26 at the Limonaia del Palagio Fiorentino in Stia, the first event of the Dante Festival 700 organized by the Municipality of Pratovecchio Stia in collaboration with the Toscana Spettacolo non-profit foundation and the Feltrinelli Point bookshop in Arezzo and with the patronage of the Italian Dante Society.

The show consists of reproductions of works by great artists such as William Blake, Gustave Doré and Salvador Dalì, that were inspired by the Supreme Poet and created by the TASCHEN publishing house, alongside original works by Lidia Bachis and Giuseppe Fanfani. The exhibition will remain open until September 18.

The exhibition itinerary

The route of “Dante a Confronto” starts from the English painter and printmaker William Blake and continues with Gustave Doré, known for his illustrations of the Divine Comedy characterized by the use of black and white and which reflects a romantic taste and an epic and dramatic vision. The journey through the classics ends with Salvador Dalì, who in 1957 began working on a series of paintings of the Divine Comedy commissioned by the State Polygraphic Institute for a limited-edition publication, planned for 1965. The fact that the work had been entrusted to a non-Italian artist raised strong disputes in public opinion, so much so that the initiative was abandoned. Dalì, however, continued working to complete the series in 1964.

The path continues with works by two contemporary artists, Livia Bachis and Giuseppe Fanfani. The Dante experience of the Roman artist is that of an omnipotent nihilism where atonement, purification and reward are subjective experiences that alternate and coexist in crude individual existence. Between Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Manson, Allen Ginsberg and Janis Joplin, Lidia Bachis gave life, or rather pictorial surface, to her own imaginative Dante’s circle populated by those damned in contemporaneity or by the dull forms of each of us. Only one witness remains of that journey: Dante. Her portrait finds space among the iconic figures of modernity, damned to remember the creation of a poem that is 700 years old but will never end: there and back.

Grandson of the famous Amintore, Giuseppe Fanfani, lawyer, jurist, former mayor of Arezzo, is a painter and renowned expert on Dante with numerous exhibitions, both national and international, dedicated to the Supreme Poet.

With a series of large-scale paintings that have a strong visual and symbolic impact, Fanfani explores some canticles of Hell, following their trajectories and implications. His technique uses acrylic and exclusively primary colours to highlight the archetypal, primary, ancestral emotions that emerge from Dante’s canticles.

Opening times of the exhibition

The free admission exhibition will remain open until September 18 at the Limonaia del Palagio Fiorentino in Stia (opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday 17.00-19.00 | Friday and Saturday 21.00-23.00)