The Divine Comedy

Marco Russo Art + Edizioni Carthesia

Three painting on canvas (50x70 cm size) that tells the poet's journey.

– Canto XXXI –

Hell is the best known part of Dante's Divine Comedy, therefore it is the part that has been most illustrated and reproduced. With all the references available then, it was easy to come up with ideas in my mind among the various songs and in fact, I had several in mind: The famous scene of Canto I where Charon ferries Dante and Virgil, or the close-up of the Poet who seeing the tortured souls, he gives in to a cry of fear, sorrow, terror and a sense of guilt. 

However, I was looking for new images, which had never been reproduced and above all, which could be as dynamic as the cover of a super-hero comic but painted in the most traditional sense.

I therefore chose Canto XXI where Dante visits the pit of the giants. But how giants? Dante says they were like towers. I wanted to represent a claustrophobic scene: Men of enormous size tied close to each other with half a body in the water. Around them, in the dark, the infernal warm light. 

Their faces clearly express their discomfort: they are confused, they cannot move, they cannot get out of the water, they cannot immerse the part outside, they cannot communicate, let off steam, be heard. So it has been for millennia and so it will be forever and Dante looks at all this, amazed, from a higher point of the path.

He will have to go down, because in the hell he describes, one must always go down but not even from that elevated point, he can see the giants from above and in fact he is under the vanishing point.

The canvas has had an evolving genesis, especially as regards the colors. Initially I thought of playing a warm contrast for Dante and the part of the earth on which he stands and cold colors for the giants. 

But I felt the need to warm up those cool colors but I needed a color to do it. A particular color that was the fulcrum of everything. 

One day with my wife and my mother we went to lunch in an oriental restaurant and next to it there was also one of the classic Chinese shops full of everything. My mom had to shop so we went in and usually these shops always have a stationery-stationery department. This, however, also had a series of very particular acrylic colors, between them I recognized how it was a lighting, the color I needed: a fluorescent pink! 

That particular "point" of color gave the atmosphere to the image. The warm light reflects on the rough ceiling, made of boiling rock on one side and frozen on the other. 

To get that material effect I used dense paint and acrylic plaster. To the touch, it feels even more real!


Watch the video of the processing.

A hundred hours of work speeded up and condensed in just 5 minutes. From blank canvas to finished canvas.


Edizioni Chartesia has granted the ABSOLUTE preview of this painting only for the " Marco Russo Art - OPEN STUDIO ONLINE ", the live broadcast during the days of Lucca Comics with the support of the event itself.
You can watch the broadcast at this link. At 1 hour and 17 minutes our Panel begins with Edizioni Chartesia with the participation of Marco Gottardi (Writer) and David Fazzari (our collaborator and moderator). Special thanks to Christian Ronchin the chief editor. - (We will add English subtitles in the video very soon) -
Click Here

the Divina Commedia will be released soon

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