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Department of Art History
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. 52242.
Dept. tel. 319-335-1771
2643 Westwinds Drive #4
Iowa City, Iowa 52246
home tel. 319-338-4099
Dissertation Proposal accepted March 1998
Title: "Rodin's Gates of Hell and Dante's Inferno: Cultural Synthesis in
French Art and Literature of the 19th Century"
My Ph.D. dissertation investigates the relationship of Auguste Rodin's Gates
of Hell to Dante's Inferno. While it is commonly acknowledged by scholars that
Dante's text was the initial inspiration for Rodin's Gates, finding closer
links between the two has proven difficult, so much so that a comprehensive
treatment of this relationship has never been attempted. While centered on
the work of Rodin, my research encompasses several fields including French
painting, sculpture, and book illustration of the 19th century, French
literature of the 19th century and its reception and re-interpretation of
Dante's text, and Medieval and Renaissance illustrations of Dante's text.
Broadly conceived, my research involves French culture's long and prolific
relationship with Dante's Inferno as both subject of and inspiration for
French art and literature, with a view towards Rodin's Gates of Hell as the
culmination of this interest. Placing Rodin in this rich context thus
constitutes an innovative and comprehensive approach to an artist whose work
is seminal to French culture.
Aida Audeh would appreciate contact with scholars developing similar projects and with scholars working/living in France. Informations about publications and upcoming conferences which might be suitable venues for her work with Dante in 19th-century France would be welcome. Posted 4 August 1998, Otfried Lieberknecht
ORB Dante Section