Canto I, Canto V
Canto I, Canto V, 2016. Pencil on Bristol paper, 14 x 17 inches
I have chosen to depict the three beasts that block Dante’s way, the leopard, lion, and she-wolf realistically. However, I have contained them within the silhouette of Dante’s head’s profile. With this, I sought to represent the allegory of a person’s internal journey toward God, showing that the beasts are not literal beasts but are rather “beasts” of personal sin and internal obstacles that one must overcome with an inward journey. As for the second piece, I chose to depict Francesca and Paolo realistically as Dore did, but I also situated them within the body. This time, they are within a heart. One reason I chose to place them in the human heart is because that is where we symbolically see their particular sin, forbidden love, living. The other reason I chose the heart is to symbolically represent the descent of Dante’s journey. His descent through the levels of hell is an allegory, and in turn my descent from the head to the heart represents a part of that journey.