“Miserere—In vulgar Latin, it is the first word of Psalm 50: ‘Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam,’ used in the Catholic liturgy in funeral services, in the rites of Lent and the Holy Week, and generally in the orations of penitence. The penitential psalm is sung in the Comedy by the rows of the dead, in the second terrace of Ante-Purgatory, and the chant, is recited in alternate verses (‘singing the “Miserere” verse by verse’ [Purgatorio, Canto V, 24]), is interrupted by an exclamation of astonishment when the souls realize from his shadow that Dante is alive. In a rather different context, however, the expression ‘Miserere mei’ is cried out by Dante at the appearance of Virgil’s shadow in the forest (Inferno, Canto I, 65).”
Retrieved from The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists by Simon Njami.
For more on the Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou, see Wikipedia.