The representation of the three afterlife worlds of the Divine Comedy (1320) by Dante Alighieri has inspired many visionary artists, illustrators and scientists through the centuries. From Botticelli to Galileo, passing through Gustave Dorè and Salvador Dalì, there have been many artists who have ventured to draw and shape the locations, atmospheres and landscapes described in the Italian masterpiece. Rationalist architect Giuseppe Terragni (1904-1943) was one of the first architects to design Dante’s poem through the never built Danteum project in Rome. Terragni together with Pietro Lingeri figured out Dante’s journey as an architectural monument endowed with spatial, spiritual and experiential features, made tangible by the instruments of architecture.
Sezione Divina. Italian Architecture for the Divine Comedy is an exhibition first conceived by Luca Molinari and curated by Luca Molinari and Chiara Ingrosso that invite contemporary architects to represent Dante’s eschatology. The visual and intellectual connection between the Dantesque world and its contemporary interpretation is used as an occasion for a wider consideration on the unstable relation between narration and image.
More than seventy architects of different generations have generously answered Molinari’s invitation and created a personal, often surprising interpretation of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. Among the authors, to name but a few: Francesco Venezia, Paolo Portoghesi, Cherubino Gambardella, Aimaro Isola, Francesco Librizzi, Ugo La Pietra, Maurizio Navone, Andrea Branzi, Michele De Lucchi and Franco Purini.
Divina Sezione has been first displayed in the marvelous chambers of Reggia di Caserta (8th March – 16th April 2018) with an exhibit design by Simona Ottieri. The travelling exhibition has been then welcomed at Palazzo Trinci Palace in Foligno (27 April – 17 June 2018), the first Italian city to print the Divina Commedia in 1472.