While this is zooming ahead in Dante's "Purgatorio," I've done a few pencil and digital sketches imagining Beatrice Portinari, who Dante loved from afar and was his muse for his writing, including "The Divine Comedy." She guides him through Heaven and brings hope to a weary traveler.
In my sketches, I've imagined Beatrice in many forms - as a source of inspiration, guidance, and compassion; someone who has an unparalleled understanding for Dante's situation from her view in Paradiso. As the symbol of divine love, Beatrice is more than just a beautiful woman - she is an unforgettable spirit that enlivens the Dante's world and led him to create works of literary art to the point where he is now considered the “Father of the Italian Language.”
Imagine that. Dante's enemies laughed at him in his exile, but his love for Beatrice was his guiding light throughout his dark night of the soul. As we make our way through life, let us remember that we too have such a light to guide us through the darkness. We must never forget that love is the greatest emotion of all and can be used as an inspiration for greatness.
In canto XXX of Purgatorio, Dante, after being forced to leave Virgil on the threshold of the earthly paradise, finally meets Beatrice. She exposes her faults and her misdeeds to Dante, to prepare him with a liberating cry for entrance into Paradise.
Let us learn from love, and use it as a source of healing and transformation. Let us strive to make our way through the darkness with her by our side, for no matter how high the mountain may be or how long its ascent may seem, your muse and all who you love will always be there to light the way.