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Stanford University
Art Focus Lecture | The Art of Dante's Divine Comedy

Art Focus Lecture | The Art of Dante's Divine Comedy


The Divine Comedy is one of the greatest works of western literature, and its narrative and dramatic elements have lent themselves for pictorial representation. This is particularly true for the Purgatory, whose seven stages correspond to the Seven Cardinal Sins. The first part of the presentation will introduce The Divine Comedy as a literary work and discuss its three parts: Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. In the second part, we will move on to the illustrations in the work of Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, and Gustave Doré; in particular on the Seven Cardinal Sins. Additionally, we will discuss the work of artists who have selectively depicted one or another of the individual sins.

Herant Katchadourian, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Human Biology. During his fifty-year career at Stanford, he has taught over 20,000 students and has received ten university awards—more than anyone else in the history of Stanford. He has also had a distinguished career as an administrator having served as Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies and as the Founding President of the Flora Family Foundation. The latest of his ten books are: Guilt: The Bite of Conscience and his memoir, The Way It Turned Out.

Cantor Arts Center Auditorium

Pre-registration and Drop-in: $25 member|$30 non-member

(650) 723-3482