| Quote #10
And I saw light that took a river's form –
The beauty of the garden holding the Celestial Rose in the Empyrean is described as a painting. In this case, one can assume the artisan is God. What is so amazing about this scene is that the rich and colorful garden Dante sees here – full of "reddish-gold" light, "wonderful spring flowers" and "living sparks…settl[ing] on flowers" – shows but a fraction of its true beauty. Dante must improve his vision to see it in all its true glory. Interestingly, this art has an organic component (the "living sparks," indicative of shining souls); it is not merely an inanimate crafted object. The difference, then, between God and a traditional artist is that he can infuse his art with life.
| Quote #11
So, in the shape of that white Rose, the holy
As Dante hints here, the Celestial Rose – where all the blessed souls sit – is well-organized. It shows that this is not a random object thrown into being by nature, but a carefully designed object. The Rose, in its order and symmetry, is a work of art.
| Quote #12
O grace abounding, through which I presumed
In the final lines of Paradiso, Dante compares God to "one single volume." This is not only a clever play on the word of God, but also evidence that God is an artist. He takes "what, in the universe, seems separate, scattered" and "conjoin[s]" it in a way that is so perfectly ordered that Dante can only speak of it in a "rudimentary" way.