Highway to Hell: How La Mappa dell’Inferno Brought Dante to a New Audience

Johnston, Graeme (2014) Highway to Hell: How La Mappa dell’Inferno Brought Dante to a New Audience. [Essay or Creative Nonfiction]

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    “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate:” Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. This poignant phrase is but one small sample of the vivid imagination that comprises Inferno, the first of three poems by Dante Alighieri collectively titled La Divina Commedia. Written during Dante’s exile from Florence in 1308, it became a literary sensation (Quinones). The readership was hugely expanded by the invention of the printing press in 1439, when books became affordable and readily available to the new middle class (Assassin’s). Shortly afterwards, in 1445, Sandro Botticelli is born in Florence (Lightbown). His talent rapidly earned him a widespread following, including the formidable Medici family, famous patrons of the arts (“Medici”). Despite their pressing commissions, Botticelli took the time to rerelease a commentary edition of Inferno, complete with his own illustrations (Lightbown). One of these, the Map of Inferno, or Mappa dell’Inferno, brings incredible detail to the viewer. Considering rhetoric, Botticelli’s map brought the meaning of Dante’s Inferno to a new audience.

    Item Type: Essay or Creative Nonfiction
    Created by Student or Faculty: Student
    Additional Information: Winner of a Fort Lewis College Writing Award
    Subjects: School of Arts and Sciences > English
    School of Arts and Sciences > Writing Program
    Depositing User: Alejandro Marquez
    Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2014 10:03
    Last Modified: 25 Apr 2014 10:04
    URI: http://fortworks.fortlewis.edu/id/eprint/624

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