This past week, the Juniors were challenged to create an art piece to accurately explain and represent Dante’s Paradisio, in which Dante the Pilgrim travels through seven spheres and three outer heavens.  This art piece represents Dante’s physical and spiritual journey through Heaven in Paradiso.  He travels through the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Fixed Stars, the Primum Mobile, and the Empyrean.  The seven spheres combine to form one sphere to emphasize that the souls are in unity in Heaven though Dante meets them in different spheres.  This also relates to the idea that the Church is one body, made up of different parts, who all worship God in unity.  The different strips of the spheres encapsulate the themes and virtues embodied in them such as Fortitude, Justice, Temperance, and Prudence.  Also, the descriptions of the different spheres in Medieval cosmology, given by C.S. Lewis in The Discarded Image, aided in the design of the planets.  The Heaven of the Fixed Stars is represented by the constellations of Gemini, Cancer, Libra, Canis Major, and Aries.  The Primum Mobile, which is referred to as the Crystalline Heaven in the poem is expressed through the use of glitter.  At the top of the art piece, there are rose petals, which are lightly shaded with red.  This is the Rose of the Emphrean where the glory of God dwells. The petals are lightly shaded red to show Christ’s passion and love for all believers when He died on the cross.  Finally, the background was water colored to look like the galaxy for aesthetic purposes since Dante does not give a description for what the area between the spheres looks like.

As described by Junior students Reagan Chandler and Cate Price