I brought my 1948 copy of the Divine Comedy with me to the studio this morning. It’s very precious to me. I love books anyway and collect them as objects as well as to read. This has illustrations by Gustav Doré an illustrator whose skill, gothic gloom and drama has always affected me. I am going to pick out some of my favorite passages and illustrations
Thinking about the text as opposed to worrying too much re the historical context of the words..
“Three hellish Furies, all besmeared with blood”
Maybe they just had their period and were feeling murderous and dealing with raging hormones. Maybe they’d been attacked and raped and gotten up off the ground, staggering about, half delirious with pain, fear and anger.. maybe they’d attacked some one because they wanted to and it was the blood of their victims that they were all besmeared with..