Paradiso (2013) 39×50 inches, book pages and gold paint on paper.
This piece is a sister to Inferno, but celebrates the text with a constellation of gold spots. As with the other books in Dante’s Divine Comedy, circles play a central role in Paradiso (Heaven, or Paradise). Concepts of orbiting, traveling, tunneling, and returning are evoked over and over, but in the Paradiso story, this journey is made with the lovely Beatrice who schools Dante in all manner of cosmic and celestial phenomena. There are parallels to a radical reading of Adam and Lilith, whereby Lilith knows more than Adam about the world around them. In this story, Beatrice confirms the wonder and majesty of the world as a divine creation, while introducing many concepts of the medieval science of the times.
This piece was made from a small bilingual copy (Italian-English) titled The Paradiso of Dante Alighieri and published by J. M. Dent & Sons in London, 1958, so the entire text in Italian is visible.
Seems like I cannot avoid Purgatorio at this point…
Detail of small center portion for scale: