Text: ALEXANDER KORDS
I NITIAL LY, »TH E T HI NK ER « WAS SU P P O SED T O BE PA RT OF A L ARGE S C U LP T U R E D EP I CT I N G T H E GAT E S O F H E L L . F OR THAT, AUG U ST E R O D I N F O LLO WED T HE MO T IFS O F THE »D IVINE C O M EDY « BY DANT E ALI G HI ERI. IN CA SE YOU DON’T REM EMB ER YO U R LI T ER AT U R E CL A SSE S, W E S UMMARIS E HO W DAN T E I MAGI NED HELL.
In almost every religion, there is the concept that after their death, human beings either go to heaven or to hell – depending on how good or bad they lead their earthly life. Of course, it’s not possible to prove if either place really exists. However, they’ve been stimulating the imagination of mankind for ages. The Italian philosopher Dante Alighieri, for example, painted a very vivid and still present image of hell in his main work »DIVINE COMEDY« . It took Dante 13
years, from 1307 to 1320, to finish the book; countless artists from all areas – from literature and music to comics and video games – dealt with its content. The sculptor Auguste Rodin also dedicated a large part of his artistic life to the »DIVINE COMEDY« . His famous »THINKER« was only one of 180 figures his monumental sculpture »THE GATES OF HELL« consisted of. But what did hell in Dante’s »COMMEDIA« actually look like?