Giving Dante a Voice


  • Dennis Looney University of Pittsburgh, MLA
Parole chiave: William Michael Harnett, Marquis de Sade, Dante Studies, Reception, Modernism


The most popular painter of still lifes in the United States in the nineteenth century, William Michael Harnett (1848-1892), created an ensemble in 1883, Still Life with Bust of Dante, that juxtaposes the Italian poet with Marquis de Sade. Harnett’s painting foregrounds the potential of Dante as a provocative critique of the Church. On the cusp of the modernist movement, Harnett’s mediation of the poet is indicative of other appropriations to come in Anglo-American literary and artistic culture that will highlight the radical modernity of the Divine Comedy


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