Rome, at the Scuderie del Quirinale a major exhibition on Dante's Inferno curated by Jean Clair

Starting Oct. 15, the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome will host a major exhibition on Dante's Inferno, curated by Jean Clair: works by Bosch, Bruegel, Beato Angelico, Botticelli, Goya, Rodin, up to Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer arrive.

From October 15, 2021 to January 9, 2022, the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome will host the exhibition Inferno, an international event that will contribute to the celebrations of the seven hundredth anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death. The exhibition, curated by Jean Clair, is intended to be a powerful and ambitious exhibition, aiming to lead visitors into unexpected territories through the power of images and the depth of ideas. The first major art exhibition dedicated to this theme, Inferno will recount the persistence of the iconography of the world of the damned from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Accompanied by Dante’s word, visitors will traverse the terrifying places and lacerating visions of Hell as they have been depicted by artists of all eras, from schematic medieval scenes to sublime Renaissance and Baroque inventions, from tormented Romantic visions to ruthless psychoanalytic interpretations of the 20th century. An entire section will be devoted to the various transliterations of the experience of Hell on earth: madness, alienation, war, extermination. Beyond the culmination of Evil, the exhibition will find its conclusion with the evocation of the idea of salvation, entrusted by Dante to the last verse of the Canticle: “e quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.”

Thanks to the extraordinary support of the Vatican Library, for the first weeks of the exhibition the most famous and emblematic masterpiece of such iconography, Sandro Botticelli’s Infernal Chasm, will be on loan. The itinerary will unfold through more than two hundred works of art on loan from over eighty major museums, public collections and prestigious private collections from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Bulgaria, in addition to Italy and the Vatican. Among the masterpieces are works by Beato Angelico, Sandro Botticelli, Jheronimus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Francisco Goya, Édouard Manet, Eugène Delacroix, Auguste Rodin, Paul Cézanne, Franz von Stuck, Giacomo Balla, Otto Dix, Boris Taslitzky, Gerhard Richter, and Anselm Kiefer.

A spectacular element and narrative key to the exhibition, opening the tour, will be the 1:1 scale plaster cast model of Auguste Rodin’s monumental and celebrated Gates of Hell: the pinnacle of all-time artistic reflections on Dante’s poem, exceptionally loaned by the Musée Rodin in Paris and the subject of a significant organizational effort.

Image: Anonymous, The Inferno (c. 1510 -1520; oil on panel, 119 x 217.5 cm; Lisbon, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga) © Bridgeman Images

Rome, at the Scuderie del Quirinale a major exhibition on Dante's Inferno curated by Jean Clair
Rome, at the Scuderie del Quirinale a major exhibition on Dante's Inferno curated by Jean Clair

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