THE DIVINE COMEDY
a Sculptural interpretation
Sculptor Timothy Schmalz has undertaken an expansive project to celebrate Dante Alighieri. This anthology of pieces represents the first sculptural interpretation of the entire work of the Divine Comedy in 700 years.
A life-size portrait of Dante Alighieri writing the first canto marks the beginning of the journey through the sculpture garden. From this representation of the poet will follow a series of sculptures representing all of the cantos (chapters) of the Divine Comedy. Each canto will have its own sculptural relief interpretation created in a bronze page-like panel so one can visually read the Divine Comedy. These sculptures are large enough to hold detailed narrations while small enough to still retain intimacy.
Dante Alighieri Sculpture in Florence, Italy
"True masterpieces of interpretation and communication, and - as far as I know - the first creation that summarizes all the songs of the poem in sculptural form."
- Monsignor Timothy Verdon, Director of the Office of Sacred Art of the Archdiocese of Florence and of the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
Through 100 cantos, the entire Divine Comedy is highlighted equally in three parts: Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise.
These individual sculptures interpret the poem in a way that visualizes the message of the canto, providing a perfect introduction to the poem for those new to the work.
The reliefs are also appealing to the scholar, offering a new way of experiencing Dante. The Divine Comedy is filled with vivid imagery which form the inspirations for these sculptures.
Pope Francis being shown Inferno Canto 1
The Dante Garden, installed on the campus of the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, Ontario creates a unique experience where one can be with nature and enjoy Dante’s epic poem. Contrary to how most people experience the Divine Comedy - usually in a library or study - the Dante Garden provides a natural outdoor environment, where one can actually walk through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. The viewer will have their own journey following Dante’s path.
This Dante Sculpture Garden not only creates a unique and beautiful surrounding, but also creates a space for education, culture and spirituality, inspiring new generations of Dante readers and scholars.
Dante Gardens at St. Michael's College in Toronto, Ontario
Looking to visit the Dante Garden in Toronto?