“Dante Pop: A journey through the Dantesque imagination”, displaying comics, advertisements and videogames that star the poet

Held at the Oratory of Santa Caterina in Bagno a Ripoli from September 24 to October 24. In addition to the exhibition, there will also be a series of four events

Dante pop – Le diesis

Dante is everywhere: in the cinema, in comics, among advertising slogans and even in video games. The poet is also loved by contemporary artists, as revealed in the exhibition titledDante Pop: A journey through the Dantesque imagination ” hosted in the Oratory of Santa Caterina in Ponte a Ema (via del Carota) from September 24 to October 24, 2021.

Bagno a Ripoli celebrates the year in this way, with a journey through Dante’s imagination in the various forms of artistic expression from the twentieth century through to the present day. As well as the exhibition, there will be a series of four events, featuring the same number of intellectuals and scholars, including the award-winning director Pupi Avati. Additionally, there will be a series of Dante-themed workshops for street art, rap and videogames, the latter of which is organized by CoderDojo, as well as an event that’s open to the public in which ISIS Gobetti-Volta students will read excerpts from the Divine Comedy.

The exhibition itinerary

The exhibition is divided into four sections: “Dante testimonial”, “Dante a Fumetti”, “Riletture” and “Dal cinema alla console”. The first analyzes Dante’s relationship with the history of advertising. Unknowingly, he became the face for many campaigns from the early twentieth century to the 2000s. One of the well-known campaigns is where the poet is portrayed enjoying a “heavenly” plate of pasta after using Magnesia San Pellegrino.

Even comics have drawn heavily on the image of Dante: in fact, the first Disney parody of the Comedy, “Mickey’s Inferno”, dates back to 1949. Several years later, Donald Duck descended into the circles of hell and shortly afterwards, the most famous duck in the world met Dante in the story “Messer Papero and the fugitive Ghibellin”. Among the most recent works, Japanese Go Nagai, inspired by the tables of Gustave Dorè, reinterpreted the Divine Comedy in manga art in 2009.

As well as comics and advertising, the “Riletture” section hosts works by artists who have chosen Dante as their subject. On example is the great poster designer of the Nano Campeggi cinema, and the exhibition which hosts three relatively unseen portraits, and the street artists Lediesis, who have created an exclusive work for the exhibition.

You can also play with Dante, in the Visceral Games action adventure Dante’s Inferno (2010) where a muscular Alighieri fights monstrous enemies using magic and an unlikely scythe of death to save his beloved Beatrice.

The exhibition is open from 3-6pm Thursday and Saturday; 10am-1pm and 3-6pm Friday and Sunday.

Related events to the exhibition

A series of meetings will be held during the same period as the exhibition. At 5pm on October 1, the Oratorio di Santa Caterina hosts Dante’s Trilogy, a presentation of the volumes edited by Filippo Rossi, professor of the International School of Comics and editorial director of the publishing house specialized in graphic novels, Kleiner Flug. The second event is on October 7 (5 pm – Oratorio di Santa Caterina) with the book presentation for “Il Sommo italiano: Dante and the identity of the nation” (published by Carrocci) in the company of the author, Fulvio Conti, professor of contemporary history at the University of Florence and dean of the Cesare Alfieri School of Political Sciences. At 5pm on Saturday October 9 at the Municipal Library of Bagno a Ripoli, the award-winning director Pupi Avati will talk about his personal passion for the author of the Divine Comedy and the genesis of the film that explores the life of Dante through the voice of Giovanni Boccaccio, the first biographer of the poet, played by Sergio Castellitto. The last event is on Thursday October 21 (5pm – Oratorio di Santa Caterina) with “Fellini, Dante and dreams”, a lecture by Mirko Tavoni, former professor of Italian Linguistics at the University of Pisa and president of the ICoN Consortium (Italian Culture on the Net) made up of 19 Italian universities who use the internet to promote Italian language and culture in the world.

The events series is organized by the Municipality of Bagno a Ripoli in collaboration with the Fondazione Franco Fossati and Wow Spazio Fumetto, Archivio Storico Olivetti, CuCo Cultura Commestibile with support from the Fondazione CR Firenze, Regione Toscana, Publiacqua and Toscana Energia.