“Canto 25, Centaur Cacus”

“Canto 25, Centaur Cacus”


Canto 25, Centaur Cacus” / 22×30 on inches mixed media on paper / INFERNO SERIES / 2009



Mark T Smith’s “The William Blake / Dante’s Inferno series”. Late 2009 / 2010.

As always, Smith started the series with a large group of works on paper, feeling his way through the subject matter and creating a visual dialog with William Blake’s work and Dante’s text. Smith has a very traditional approach to the creation of his work, starting with observation, then drawings, then revised drawings, works on paper and then on to larger works on canvas, linen and paper. The soaring subject matter makes a perfect playground for the artist to showcase the depth and breath of his visual vocabulary.

“A second intratextual moment occurs slightly further on in Inferno 25, when the author explains why the centaur Cacus does not “ride the same road as his brothers”: “Non va co’ suoi fratei per un cammino” [Inf. 25.28]). In other words, Cacus does not reside with the other centaurs in the first ring of the seventh circle, the ring that contains the violent against others, in both their selves and in their possessions. Dante uses the reference to the centaurs in Inferno 12 to construct his distinction between violent robbers and fraudulent thieves.” – Columbia University

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