An alternative way of reading the Divine Comedy
How can we combine literature and drawing? How can we speak about the Divine Comedy to both children and adults? Roberto Abbiati, the actor and illustrator, has found the answer. On Thursday evening in the Casa del Mantegna, he presented his event La Commedia a ritratti, in which he introduced his audience to some of the animals featured in the Divine Comedy, drawing the crowd in and leading them in imagining what Dante's creation process may have been for these beasts.
Leading on from this, a pencil and some paper was given to each person in the audience, both adults and children, and after listening a short description taken directly from Dante, the audience were asked to sketch some animal characters such as Cerberus, Geryon and the Griffin. In addition to teaching some passages from Dante, another aim of the event was reminding adults of that sense of freedom, light-heartedness and spontaneity that children naturally have, and which starts to fade away as they start studying traditional subjects at school. The take-home message was that, in order to fully understand what surrounds us, we should try use and combine both adult and child-like perspectives.