THE MISTERY ROOM
“Love is a secret between two hearts, a mystery between two souls.” (Henri-Frèdèric Amiel)
Secret love is the most beautiful, the strongest, the most passionate, the most romantic, the purest. If we are not friends, are we lovers or are we in love? It is a secret!
The room is inspired by the hellish atmosphere of the Divine Comedy, where in Canto V – which remains the most iconic of Dante’s entire work – the act of betrayal by Paolo and Francesca is elevated to pure and sincere love. Dante meets the two souls in the circle of the lustful, dragged by the storm, but locked in an eternal embrace never to leave each other.
It is Francesca who takes the floor and explains their story to Dante. She was forced to marry a crude man of brutish ways, Gianciotto Malatesta, never imagining that she could fall madly in love with her brother, Paolo. Love is sealed by the first kiss exchanged while reading the story of passion between Lancelot and Guinevere; Gianciotto, having discovered the two lovers, brutally kills them.
The sincerest love, however, according to Dante, is precisely courtly love, guided by pure feelings, so high that they seem divine. That is why he is breathless when he sees God punishing souls whose only sin was loving from the bottom of their hearts and not submitting to human and divine law.