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CRRS Friday Workshop — Ernesto Virgulti

January 31, 2020 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Ernesto Virgulti Brock University
“From Text to Bronze: Rodin’s Visualization of Dante’s Inferno

Abstract: Dante’s Inferno has inspired countless illustrations, maps, paintings and sculptures, including Auguste Rodin’s Gates of Hell, originally commissioned in 1880 for the doors of a museum that was never built. But aside from 4-5 figures (Dante, Paolo, Francesca and Ugolino), the other 180+ figures in Rodin’s Portal seem to bear little correspondence to Dante’s Inferno. This presentation will investigate the evolution of Rodin’s Porte de l’Enfer, from the early sketches, architectural designs and maquettes to its final form, in attempt to identify Rodin’s influences and models. While the Portal cannot be considered an adaptation of Dante’s text, some figures bear more correspondence than one would think, even after being freed from Hell and given a life of their own (Dante becomes The Thinker and Paolo and Francesca become The Kiss). Although divided by more than five centuries, both Dante and Rodin share and depict the universal struggles of a suffering humanity.

Bio: Ernesto Virgulti is Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Brock University. Faculty profile.


January 31, 2020
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies


Victoria University Common Room (Rear Entrance Burwash Hall)
89 Charles Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5S1K7 Canada
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