Dante’s Beatrice


The second in the series of the Three Archetypes represents Beatrice, the famous figure in the Divine Comedy by Dante. Joukhadar has chosen the moment when, at the end of the Divine Comedy, Beatrice leaves Dante, moves towards the fountain of eternity, then turns and smiles at him, gradually disappearing. For Joukhadar, ‘it is very Leonardesque.’

“sorrise e riguardommi poi si torn a l’etterna fontana.”

DANTE. Canto XXXI, Paradiso, The Divine Comedy.

Without Beatrice there would not have been Dante. Beatrice is the archetype of a woman who incites man to elevation and inspires him in his pursuit of very high ideals. At the first meeting Dante, madly in love, feels the natural feelings of a man towards a beautiful woman. The dignity of Beatrice has elevated these sentiments towards the sublime.

In The Divine Comedy, Dante has three guides: one for Hell, one for Purgatory and Beatrice for Paradise. Surprisingly, she does not represent love, as one would expect, but Wisdom. For Joukhadar, it is intelligence as well, fine, intuitive and instinctive, as feminine intelligence is. In opposition to masculine intelligence, which often works as the gears of a monstrous machine, powerful, effective, but sometimes disproportionate and useless.

“She takes her place among three female archetypes. The choice is very symbolic in terms of the symbolism of numbers; two similar and one different. In terms of female archetypes, two positive and one negative. The idea was to encourage having another view of the feminine. First Beatrice: without Beatrice there would not have been Dante. She is the archetype of the woman who elevates man, inspires him to pursue very high ideals. Dante was very much in love with Beatrice at first, then his love was sublimated. But at first it was a man’s natural reaction to a beautiful woman. It was her dignity that drove Dante in another direction in his feelings. What struck everyone is that in the Divine Comedy there are 3 dimensions, one for Hell, one for Paradise, one for Purgatory. What amazes (everyone) is that this woman does not represent love, she represents wisdom”.

S. Joukhadar

For Joukhadar, it is intelligence, fine and instinctive, which is feminine intelligence. “Feminine intelligence is not like masculine intelligence, which works like the gears of a monstrous machine, powerful, effective, but sometimes useless. It is almost enigmatic. Of course, I chose the moment at the end when she has turned and smiles. It is very Leonardesque.”