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Four Classic Nightmare Inducing Paintings of Hell

Posted by Dark Art & Craft on

hellfire

Filippo di Liagno, called Filippo Napoletano, Dante and Virgil in Hell (Detail) img src wikipedia commons.

Here sighs and cries and shrieks of lamentation echoed throughout the starless air of Hell; at first these sounds resounding made me weep. And he to me: “This wretched state of being is the fate of those sad souls who lived a life but lived it with no blame and with no praise.
- Canto 3: Hell’s Gate/the Neutrals, Excerpts from Inferno from The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. Translated by Mark Musa

Art history contains thousands of depictions of hellfire; In the western traditions some are inspired by biblical passages of damnation, others directly reflect Dante's detailed underworld or at times the Artists own personal visions. This place of punitive suffering where inhabitants endure divine torture evokes a rich visual offering - filled with distinctive human emotion. We've chosen six of our favorite works in the theme - a nightmarish landscape of Hell through the Artist's lens.

 1. Crucifixion and Last Judgement Diptych by Jan van Eyck

Jan van Eyck, Crucifixion and Last Judgement diptych,

Full view of Jan Van Eyck, The Last Judgment, ca. 1440–1441. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

A personification of death spreads its skeletal wings over the fallen and damned

Detail view of Jan Van Eyck, The Last Judgment, ca. 1440–1441. Photo via Wikimedia Commons. Lower right Hell section of the painting.

 2. Last Judgement frescoes by Giotto 

Nave of the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Province of Padua, Region of Veneto, Italy

Nave of the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Province of Padua, Region of Veneto, Italy. image via Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0 File:Padova Cappella degli Scrovegni Innen. Last Judgement frescoes by Giotto.

Hell and satan mural

Hell detail from Last Judgement frescoes by Giotto, image via WGA CC BY-SA 4.0 the lower right portion of the fresco shows a horned Satan devouring sinners.

3. The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch, Oil on Oak Panels

Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, oil on oak panels, 205.5 cm × 384.9 cm (81 in × 152 in), Museo del Prado, Madrid

Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights, oil on oak panels, Museo del Prado, Madrid image via wikipedia Public Domain

Dante and Virgil in Hell

Filippo di Liagno, called Filippo Napoletano, Dante and Virgil in Hell, Oil on canvas 1619-20 image via wikipedia commons public domain work.

Filippo di Liagno's masterful work from 1620 painting features multiple headed beasts and all manner of torturous devices. The Artists work is based directly off Dante's harrowing written depiction of Hell

 

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