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Dante-Dantes inferno.Divine Comedy-Limbo-Lust.

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Dante's inferno.
Dante and Virgil in hell. (c1850)



Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France

Dante-Dantes inferno.Divine Comedy-Limbo-Lust(1875)
William Bouguereau Dante's inferno. Dante and Virgil in hell. (1850)
Enhance you home or office with a fine art print or oil reproduction of Dante and Virgil in hell.Enhance you home or office with a fine art print or oil reproduction of Dante and Virgil in hell

This large painting by William Bouguereau depicts a scene from Dantes inferno.

It is set on the banks of the river Styx which formed the boundary between earth and the under world. Dante is with Virgil who is his guide through the nine circles of Hell. The circles are concentric, representing a gradual increase in wickedness, and culminating at the centre of the earth, where the devil himself is held in bondage.

This painting depicts Dante in the fifth circle which represents Wrath and sullenness. He is standing on the left of the painting with the ghost of Virgil at his side.

They are looking upon the sins of wrath (extreme anger) and sullenness (sulkiness, moroseness, brooding resentment, gloominess, sluggishness.) The dominant male at the front of the piece is ruthlessly attacking his opponent in an attempt to tear his throat out with his teeth showing extreme wrathful behaviour. While this is going on a sullen some what distressed male lies on the floor at their feet. In the background their is a mass of mostly male entwined bodies, some exhibiting signs of sullenness while others are being wrathful toward each other. Others appear to be trying to avoid falling into a chasm of hot boiling liquid and are desperately trying to cling onto something to avoid their fate. Behind them a winged demon patiently watches over the proceedings.



Dante and Virgil looking upon the sins of wrath and sullenness

Dante and Virgil looking upon the sins of wrath and sullenness. The expression on the face of Dante is clearly one of concern.

 Dante and Virgil in hell. A demon waits patiently.

The Winged demon, arms folded, patiently overseas proceedings as he looks upon the mass of writhing bodies.

Dante and virgil in hell. Clawing hand detail.


William Bouguereau was a master at painting with a photo like quality. The detail and realism of the fingers gouging at the flesh give the skin an almost three dimensional elastic appearance. Through out the work the muscle tone and sinewy detail of the bodies and the facial expressions show the extreme tension and determination of the subjects portrayed, all demonstrating Bouguereau's unique ability to produce convincing photo realistic portrayals of his subjects .

Dante and Virgil in Hell. a single female trying to attack a male from behind while he desperately tries to resist her.

Background detail from Dante and Virgil in hell. In this example among a mass of what appear to be predominantly males their is what appears to be a single female trying to attack a male from behind while he desperately tries to resist her. At her feet there is what appears to be another female who has fallen back into the mass of bodies. She is reaching up as if desperately awaiting to be assisted back to her feet. Her long fair hair can be seen through the crook of the fighting man in the forground's arm to the front of the piece.

Dante and virgil in hell. Contourted facial detail

A sullen some what distressed male lies at the feet of the duelling males. You can clearly see the angst and distress captured in the facial expression.

The above account is my interpretation of the work and should in no way be taken as fact.

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About Dante's Inferno

Inferno (Italian for Hell) is the first part of Dante Alighieri's fourteenth-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through what is largely the medieval concept of Hell, guided by the Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth. Allegorically, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul towards God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inferno_(Dante)

The nine circles of Hell



  • Limbo. (To be in limbo is to be neither in Heaven or Hell.)
  • Lust. (A strong sexual desire.)
  • Gluttony. (An insatiable appetite for something. Mainly associated with eating.)
  • Avarice Prodigality. (A greed for wealth or gain ) (A lavish extravagance. )
  • Wrath Sullenness. ( Extreme anger) (To sulk, brood, be resentful, morose, gloomy and sluggish.)
  • Heresy. ( To form an opinion contrary to an accepted belief. )
  • Violence. (An unlawful use of force toward another. )
  • Fraud. ( Criminal deception or dishonesty. )
  • Betrayal. ( To be disloyal so as to assist an enemy. )

Read an extract from Dante's Inferno:

Canto I.

Inferno: Canto I
Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost. Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say. What was this forest savage, rough, and stern, Which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death is little more; But of the good to treat, which there I found, Speak will I of the other things I saw there. I cannot well repeat how there I entered, So full was I of slumber at the moment In which I had abandoned the true way. But after I had reached a mountain's foot, At that point where the valley terminated, Which had with consternation pierced my heart, Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders, Vested already with that planet's rays Which leadeth others right by every road. Then was the fear a little quieted That in my heart's lake had endured throughout The night, which I had passed so piteously. And even as he, who, with distressful breath, Forth issued from the sea upon the shore, Turns to the water perilous and gazes; So did my soul, that still was fleeing onward, Turn itself back to re-behold the past Which never yet a living person left. After my weary body I had rested, The way resumed I on the desert slope, So that the firm foot ever was the lower. And lo! almost where the ascent began, A panther light and swift exceedingly, Which with a spotted skin was covered o'er! And never moved she from before my face, Nay, rather did impede so much my way, That many times I to return had turned. The time was the beginning of the morning, And up the sun was mounting with those stars That with him were, what time the Love Divine At first in motion set those beauteous things; So were to me occasion of good hope, The variegated skin of that wild beast, The hour of time, and the delicious season; But not so much, that did not give me fear A lion's aspect which appeared to me. He seemed as if against me he were coming With head uplifted, and with ravenous hunger, So that it seemed the air was afraid of him; And a she-wolf, that with all hungerings Seemed to be laden in her meagreness, And many folk has caused to live forlorn! She brought upon me so much heaviness, With the affright that from her aspect came, That I the hope relinquished of the height. And as he is who willingly acquires, And the time comes that causes him to lose, Who weeps in all his thoughts and is despondent, E'en such made me that beast withouten peace, Which, coming on against me by degrees Thrust me back thither where the sun is silent. While I was rushing downward to the lowland, Before mine eyes did one present himself, Who seemed from long-continued silence hoarse. When I beheld him in the desert vast, "Have pity on me," unto him I cried, "Whiche'er thou art, or shade or real man!" He answered me: "Not man; man once I was, And both my parents were of Lombardy, And Mantuans by country both of them. 'Sub Julio' was I born, though it was late, And lived at Rome under the good Augustus, During the time of false and lying gods. A poet was I, and I sang that just Son of Anchises, who came forth from Troy, After that Ilion the superb was burned. But thou, why goest thou back to such annoyance? Why climb'st thou not the Mount Delectable, Which is the source and cause of every joy?" "Now, art thou that Virgilius and that fountain Which spreads abroad so wide a river of speech?" I made response to him with bashful forehead. "O, of the other poets honour and light, Avail me the long study and great love That have impelled me to explore thy volume! Thou art my master, and my author thou, Thou art alone the one from whom I took The beautiful style that has done honour to me. Behold the beast, for which I have turned back; Do thou protect me from her, famous Sage, For she doth make my veins and pulses tremble." "Thee it behoves to take another road," Responded he, when he beheld me weeping, "If from this savage place thou wouldst escape; Because this beast, at which thou criest out, Suffers not any one to pass her way, But so doth harass him, that she destroys him; And has a nature so malign and ruthless, That never doth she glut her greedy will, And after food is hungrier than before. Many the animals with whom she weds, And more they shall be still, until the Greyhound Comes, who shall make her perish in her pain. He shall not feed on either earth or pelf, But upon wisdom, and on love and virtue; 'Twixt Feltro and Feltro shall his nation be; Of that low Italy shall he be the saviour, On whose account the maid Camilla died, Euryalus, Turnus, Nisus, of their wounds; Through every city shall he hunt her down, Until he shall have driven her back to Hell, There from whence envy first did let her loose. Therefore I think and judge it for thy best Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide, And lead thee hence through the eternal place, Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations, Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate, Who cry out each one for the second death; And thou shalt see those who contented are Within the fire, because they hope to come, Whene'er it may be, to the blessed people; To whom, then, if thou wishest to ascend, A soul shall be for that than I more worthy; With her at my departure I will leave thee; Because that Emperor, who reigns above, In that I was rebellious to his law, Wills that through me none come into his city. He governs everywhere, and there he reigns; There is his city and his lofty throne; O happy he whom thereto he elects!" And I to him: "Poet, I thee entreat, By that same God whom thou didst never know, So that I may escape this woe and worse, Thou wouldst conduct me there where thou hast said, That I may see the portal of Saint Peter, And those thou makest so disconsolate." Then he moved on, and I behind him followed.

Dante's_Inferno_by_Henry_Wadsworth_LongfellowThere are many similar translations of Dante's inferno but this translation is by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and was first published in 1909.

Get your own copy of Dante's Inferno by Dante Alighieri.Dante's Inferno by Dante Alighieri.

Yunart Dante and Virgil in Hell by William Bouguereau Hand Made Reproduction on Canvas(20 inch * 25 inch ,Framed)

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