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The Divine Comedy

In the early 1950s, in celebration of the 700th birthday of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri, the Italian government commissioned the Surrealist master Salvador Dalí to create 100 illustrations for a commemorative edition of The Divine Comedy. Dalí’s hyperrealistic, bizarre, and nightmarish imagery seemed like the perfect pairing to Dante’s visions of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, yet public outcry against the commissioning of a Spanish artist to accompany the work of an Italian cultural hero forced the Italian government to revoke its support for the project. Undaunted, Dalí worked with a French publisher to have 100 wood engravings (one for each of The Divine Comedy’s verses) made after his own watercolors, which were completed and published in 1963. The entire Divine Comedy Suite by Salvador Dalí is now available for purchase at our galleries and online.
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    • Hell Canto
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