Image: Rain of Fire Falls on the Violent
(Canton, Ohio, 1947 - )

Rain of Fire Falls on the Violent , 1997

Tar and oil on canvas
68 in. x 50 in. (172.72 cm x 127 cm)
Gift of the artist
2000.21
Rain of Fire was inspired by the following passage from Canto XIV of Dante’s Inferno:

Many separate herds of naked souls I saw,
all weeping desperately; it seemed each group
had been assigned a different penalty:

some of them stretched out flat upon their backs,
others were crouching there all tightly hunched,
some wandered, never stopping, round and round.

Far more there were of those who roamed the sand
and fewer were the souls stretched out to suffer,
but they had looser tongues to tell their pain.

And over all that sandland, a fall of slowly
raining broad flakes of fire showered steadily
(a mountain snowstorm on a windless day),…

…Here, too, a never-ending blaze descended,
kindling the sand like tinder under flint-sparks,
and in this way the torment there was doubled.

Without a moment’s rest the rhythmic dance
of wretched hands went on, this side, that side,
brushing away the freshly fallen flames.
  
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