from “Inferno” the first part of Dante’s La
Dante works [19 in all] began with the invasion of Iraq. After
almost 50 years my suppressed
memories of an invasion surfaced [I was a SeaBee following the
Marines in the Invasion of Guam during WWII and part of my outfit
at Iwo Jima].
recall and imaging of Dante's visions of Hell purged
my psyche. I had studied the work in an Italian writing and
reading course that I took when I returned to Yale from my Fulbright
year in Italy. In Florence every other street has a plaque
some event in Dante's life or works. I also had discovered
of the Inferno by Michael DiPalma, a masterful
translation which retains Dante's cadence and rhyming scheme.
also chose to work in techniques
that would have been available to Dante's contemporary artists.
Drawing on toned paper, sgrafitto [scratchboard] and acrylic
used as tempera
or secco fresco.
I have always shown the work in a
particular sequence that is set by Dante's order of each canto
Inferno, the first set of 32 stanzas for this three part poem. The
artist's price for this collection is negotiable.
from “Inferno” the first
part of “the Comedy” they called “Divine” By
Dante Alighieri, exiled Florentine Poet
designs are hand-drawn in Sgrafitto, to be made into line etchings.
Artist Designer, E. Thor Carlson © 2003,
Newport, New Hampshire, United States
Virgil is shown with images of the Roman Forum and
the statue of Caesar Augustus. In his hand he holds a scroll with
his epitaph in Latin, which he wrote himself.
of the Latin on Virgil's scroll:
"Mantua gave me birth, Calabria snatched
me away, now Pathanope holds me: I sang of the pastures, the
green fields and of the heroes."
Gate of Hell
Door to Gloomy Hell is Always Open
Before Me Nothing was Created save the Eternal,
and I endure Eternally. ALL
YOU WHO ENTER, LET NO HOPE SURVIVE
Weird and Savage Cerberus
His Three Throats barking Doglike at the Dead
wormlike Cerberus saw us and at once bared the fangs of his
three mouths, never ceasing to move.
A Dark and Savage Wood [una selva oscura e selvaggia.]
Where he meets first a leopard, then a lion, then a salivating
she-wolf and finally as a figure of a man seems to emerge
from the darkness he cries "MiserÁre are you a man or a spirit” and
he replied: “I was a man.”
Boat Crosses the Acheron
the Ferryman, on the Fiery River Acheron [caron, il traghettore
su la trista riviera d’archeronte]
Amid the wailing of the condemned souls at the river of fire’s
edge a boat emerged and an old man whose eyes glowed like coals.
He shouted: “Oh sinners! Put all hope of Heaven by! I take
you to the other shore where darkness cannot die!”
and the Adulterers
Minos of the second circle [Re Minos del cerchio secondo]
There Minos stands with his horrid snarling face, He assigns each
one it’s place! Behind him swirled the adulterous lovers,
condemned to endless winds and in perpetual embrace around
and around they flew.
The Perpetual Fires [I fuochi perpetui]
I saw naked souls bewailing their miseries. Some lay stretched
on the ground, some crouched and squatted and others went
meandering around. Here were the usurers, the deviates,
and the worst of
The Forest of Dry Trees
The Wood of the Suicides [La Selva delle suicide]
Within the dry wood I tugged at a branch until it snapped apart. “Why
are you mangling me?” As I saw dark red blood start to
run, the voice continued “Now
we are turned to stumps, but we were men!”
Four Muses - Mary, Lucy, Rachel and Beatrice
Oh Muses, O High Genius, Aid Me!
In Heaven a Noble Lady, and Lucia Enemy of All
Cruelty, and Ancient Rachel Saying to Beatrice “Why do
you not help him who loved you so that he forsook the crowd
and it’s crass ways? Do you not hear him crying out below?
The Misers Carry Their Gold Round and Round
“Why throw it away?” they
the somber circle moved till their previous positions were reversed
they each wheeled and rolled their weights along.
Stygian Marsh of the Angry
that filthy bath was a crowd of muddy people, filling it,
all naked, with faces full of wrath.
They hit each other with their fists, and hit each other
with both feet and chest and head, and chewed each other to pieces, bit
The Screaming Harpies
The Three Infernal Furies
Three hellish furies, resembled women,
But they were blood smeared and girded
With horned vipers of the deepest Green.
With small snakes for hair
Handmaids of the Queen of Eternal Lamentation.
The Lord Of Hell
Satan, The Emperor of that Realm of Misery [ecco dite, lo emperador
del doloroso regno]
stared to see three faces on his head, the middle one faced forward,
the other two were joined to it and set above each shoulder and
they went up to his crown, where all three met. He stood in a
sea of icy water where bodies floated and his body was covered
with shaggy and bloody hair.