The Empyrean, from The Divine Comedy (1861-1868), Gustave Doré
The Empyrean, “from the Medieval Latin empyreus, an adaptation of the Ancient Greek ἔμπυρος empyrus ”in or on the fire (pyr)”, is a region described in the the Paradiso portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy as a place beyond even the highest spheres of Heaven, the dwelling place of God and angels. In The Divine Comedy, Dante is “enveloped by [a] veil of radiance” as he ascends to the Empyrean.
Some medieval writers conceived of it as a celestial sphere formed from pure fire, but others contested that it burned with light rather than elemental fire, as Thomas Aquinas described in the Summa Theologica: "wholly luminous… that heaven is called the empyrean, not from its fiery heat, but from its brightness".
Details of Michelangelo’s masterpiece “David” 1501–1504
A Lion Made from 4,000 Pieces of Metal by selçuk yılmaz
Created from nearly 4,000 pieces of metal scraps, Aslan, is a recent sculpture by Istanbul-based artist Selçuk Yılmaz. The piece took nearly a year of work and involved hand-cutting and hammering of each individual metal piece. The final work weighs roughly 550 pounds (250kg). While we’ve seen dozens of artists use multiple components to create a final form, it’s worth noting how well the bent mental lends itself to the final shape of this impressive cat.
Details from the Gates of Hell by Rodin..Bronze doors originally commissioned for a new museum in Paris which never opened. Rodin worked on the 200 separate elements for almost 37 years. Planned on the characters of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, the finished piece became a more abstract work with many of Rodin’s popular motifs included amongst the tortured souls
|—||Isaac Asimov, “Art and Science,” The Roving Mind, 1983 (via itsacrimescene)|
The kiss of death.
This astonishing sculpture forms part of Barcelona’s Poblenou Cemetery. The Kiss of Death (El Petó de la Mort in Catalan and El beso de la muerte in Spanish) dates back to 1930. A winged skeleton bestows a kiss on the lips of a handsome young man: is it ecstasy on his face or resignation? Little wonder the sculpture elicits strong and varying responses from whoever gazes upon it.