Hello, my name is Leonardo Frigo and I am a London-based artist. I illustrate biographies, classic books, and stories on musical instruments such as violins and cellos (if you’re interested, you can find my previous post here). “Dante Alighieri – Inferno” is a project in progress for more than four years, conceived and developed by me.

I had managed to bring together music, poetry, design, and craftsmanship in a single piece of unique art. We are talking about 34 musical instruments, 33 violins, and 1 cello, on which I made the intricate drawings inspired by the first “cantica” chapter of the Divine Comedy: Inferno (Hell). Each musical instrument is dedicated to a specific canto. On its surface, the violins show off symbols, scenes, and key characters taken from the imagery of the poem written by Dante Alighieri hundreds of years ago.

My work comes from deep research that has roots in my passion for reading, for art, visual storytelling, and, in particular, for the of Dante’s masterpiece. Dante’s Inferno has always inspired me since I was a child, I can probably say that it taught me to imagine and dream.

Therefore, after taking notes and annotations about each canto, I start to search for symbols, names, and beautiful drawings that, put together, tell the story written by Dante. When the final design is clear in my mind, I am ready to paint the black and white drawings by hand, in black ink, on the entire surface of the violin. The instrument is then varnished and installed on its base. But it does not end here: each violin is accompanied by an accurate descriptive text, both in Italian and in English, which highlights and analyzes all its details.

More info: leonardofrigo.com

More violins inspired by Dante’s Inferno:

Watch the video: