The Darkness That Is Light. Thoughts from an exhibition

An MP3 version of this talk is at my podcast feed, Dante’s Divine Comedy.

The Dante exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, for the 700th anniversary year of 2021, brought together some of the Divine Comedy’s greatest illustrators, living and dead, from Monika Beisner to William Blake and Sandro Botticelli. Here are my reflections on these studies in line and light depicting darkness and life.

The images still in copyright are by Monika Beisner, Dante and Beatrice in the Earthly Paradise (2001, copyright the artist) and Dante and Beatrice and the Mystic Rose of Paradise (2001, copyright the artist); by Rachel Owen, The Fraudsters (2010-16, Estate of Rachel Owen); and by Geoff MacEwan, The Earthly Paradise (2010, Ashmolean Museum). They are reproduced with permission for press use in conjunction with the exhibition.

For more on my book, Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Guide for the Spiritual Journey, and other vlogs see