Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dante and Beatrice

I had to share this, as it is a picture of...Dante's heart!

This beautiful portrait is part of a Tarot deck and a unique novel, The Lover's Path, by Kris Waldherr, and the image depicts Dante's transfigurative love, alluding obliquely to the dream in which Dante's heart is taken out of his chest in The New Life. (In Waldherr's Tarot, this is the card for "Grace.")

I was startled to find the image, of course, because of its confluence with our journal. I am set to become a Kris Waldherr fan. Definitely take a look at her book, The Lover's Path, a novel of love (romantic, erotic, and otherwise) set in Renaissance Venice, and illuminated with breathtaking art, handwritten letters, and various artifacts. It is both book and art object: a museum in unto itself.

In fact, Kris Waldherr's website, the Museo di Palazzo Filomela, is set up, like the book, as a museum, for the exploration of Venice, Waldherr's artwork, Tarot, and the lover's path: well worth exploring for art-lovers, Italianists, and pagans.

Not all of the images in The Lover's Path are Italian in origin, however (though many are): Kris Waldherr explores a range of love-tales, primarily from Europe, but with a few from other cultures of the world. Here to the right is Isis and Osiris. You can also find Siegfried and Brunnhilde, Zeus and Danae, Merlin and Vivianne, Tristan and Isolde.

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