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.
For me, purgatory was a real discovery. I found it fantastic! But what could I represent?
After the descent, the ascent to the mountain? Dante in the fire that doesn't burn? No. There was only one image to make, the summit of history up to the vision of God in heaven and to describe it in words, not a few can be used.
At the end of Dante's impervious path, after seeing horrible things, after passing tests that forced the protagonist to overcome many of his limits, he arrives there, at the entrance to heaven: Canto XXXI.
Dante's eyes go from seeing the atrocious tortures of the damned, sinners of all kinds, to the garden of Eden, the paradise, and who does he meet? Her. His muse, her love, his obsession.
He made the hardest journey in human history just to reach it. On her side, she went down to hell to ask Virgil to take Dante and bring him to her, when he could have stayed there in heaven in eternal peace. How does this love story that has traveled beyond death, time, space, evil and good end? What does Beatrice say to the great poet when she sees him? Will she whisper to her everything she did? Will you tell her about her plan to give Dante the privilege of knowing the 3 kingdoms of the afterlife? She scolds him bitterly!