Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dante's Nine Levels of Hell

Okay guys, a general knowledge question about a place that has always gotten a lot of rather bad press. Hell. Now these are the levels:


Level 1 - Limbo

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6 - The City of Dis

Level 7

Level 8- the Malebolge

Level 9 - Cocytus

And these persons are those goin' there, no way they won't! :

The Treacherous, The Gluttonous, The Virtuous Non-Believers, Heretics, The Wrathful and Gloomy, The Violent, The Lustful, The Prodigal and Avaricious, Repenting Believers, and The Fraudulent and Malicious and Panderers.

So who ends up in which level?

When you're done, how bout checking:

Purgatory - Repenting Believers

Level 1 - Limbo - Virtuous Non-Believers

Level 2 - Lustful

Level 3 - Gluttonous

Level 4 - Prodigal and Avaricious

Level 5 - Wrathful and Gloomy

Level 6 - The City of Dis - Heretics

Level 7 - Violent

Level 8- the Malebolge - Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers

Level 9 - Cocytus - Treacherous

How did you go? Weren't you surprised 'gluttony' is worse , spiritually speaking, than 'lust'! Perhaps this is your view of things anyway!

If you want more info bout any denizen type, just click on the level cos it's a link.
But if you just want a 'ready reckoner' to specifically place yourself ... :

To finish, a couple of modern visions from the Red Nose Gallery - 'Hell' and, to comfort and distract those definitely going to Level 9, 'Heaven':



See you there!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sullivan - Provincial Paradise

Do you happen to know the way to THE most beautiful panorama in the world?

I've just happen to have stumbled across it. The journey to these Elysian fields - a little of the C18 provincial city of Sullivan, Baliwag, Luzon, Philippines - is:

They say 'See Naples and die' - they were wrong. Well, they only had part of the story.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Aubrey Beardsley, the Aesthetic Movement and Gay Sensibility

As a kid, I used a series of about 20 large posters of Aubrey Beardsley’s pen and inks as a frieze above the curtain rail, right around my four walls of my bedroom. Much to the ill-concealed consternation of my parents, as these works were obviously the product of a raging gay sensibility. And helped me explore my sexuality at that critical and tumultuous period of my mid-teens.

I was drawn to the work of Aesthetic Movement of the late C19 in general, and in this context, particularly that of Beardsley and Oscar Wilde, and their 'collaboration' in Wilde’s 1893 French ‘Salome’:

Other images in my ‘gallery’ included the elegant, sparkling, frothy and dramatic ‘Peacock Cape’ and
‘Black Cape’ 1907.

And the spookily domestic ‘Lady Reading’ with its rigid and alarming couch covering, and its rather self-contained parrot quietly mocking it's owner's plumes.

Beardsley's output, of course, was quite varied.

There are also the society portraits. Such as the beautifully restrained image of ‘Miss Winifred Emery’ 1895, capturing so effectively her diaphanous cape and light muslin dress …

… and the satirical one of Wilde himself in the guise of Ali Baba, the hoarder of all sumptuous and desirable treasure:

To frighten the horses (aka my parents), I put up the effete ‘La Toilette’ and these other more erotic works:

Sadly, I didn't display these more homoerotic images, though I was aware of them at that time:

Maybe they weren’t available in poster form then. A possible defense! The second pen and ink includes another portrait of Wilde, pedestaled.

It was only much later I found these much more exotic images - of masturbation, of S and M (‘Earl Lavender’), and of general quirky sensuality at play (‘Lysistrata Defending Acropolid’):

But finally to end on a more dignified note, Beardsley's tooled leather beautiful book cover for ‘La Morte d’Artur’:

Sadly this rather unique artist died in his twenties. It's hard to imagine what direction his work would have taken with the demise of the Aesthetic Movement, the imprisonment of Wilde and the de-gaying of the arts that followed. Hope he would have found a way!