Purgatory

French writer and historian de Chateaubriand emphasises that, in terms of poeticism, Purgatory surpasses both Paradise and Inferno because it represents a future that neither of the two preceding realms possesses. Additionally, unlike Inferno and Paradise, it is depicted with the least abstraction. This is how Bukovac will paint it as well. Although the painting is neither signed nor dated, it was reproduced in 1900 in the first issue of the magazine Život, indicating that Bukovac painted it precisely in Cavtat, where he spent four years at the turn of the century.

Bukovac’s depiction of Purgatory is set within a mountainous landscape. Dante, clad in reddish-brown robes, leans against a rock observing a procession of souls in white veils, led by a young woman. Behind him stands Virgil in white, with a laurel wreath on his head. The light illuminating the souls is the natural afternoon sunlight typical of the Cavtat landscape in spring. A detail of the scene – the sewn eyelids covering the eyes of the souls as they progress, supporting one another, reveals the envious individuals whom Dante placed in the second circle of Purgatory. Incapable of perceiving goodness in themselves and in others, they are blind, both outwardly and especially within their own beings.

Museums and galleries of Konavle consist of the:

Konavle County Museum, House Bukovac, Department of Archaeology and Račić Mausoleum.

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