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