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Canto XIII, The Wood Of Suicides.

Divina Commedia, Inferno, Canto XIII,  31-36.

Allor porsi la mano un poco avante/e colsi un ramicel da un gran pruno;/e ‘l tronco suo gridò:”Perché mi schiante?”./Da che fatto fu poi di sangue bruno,/ricominciò a dir:”Perché mi scerpi?/non hai tu spirto di pietade alcuno?”


Divina commedia, Inferno, Canto 13, Selva dei suicidi. Piero delle Vigne.

We are in the seventh circle of the “Inferno”, and in his second “girone”, where are those who were violent towards themselves, the suicides. The damned appear like withered trees, like twigs. Here they fall, thrown by Minos, and are immediately transformed into the squalor of a dead trunk.

The illustration refers to the encounter with the soul of Pier delle Vigne, forced into a “great bush”. Dante breaks a branch, and blood begins to flow from the wood. The soul reacts…

From a visual point of view, the scene appears dark, tangled with brambles and trunks, with no trace of paths or escape routes. The souls are hidden in the trunks and are destined never to recover their human features again.

My intention was to make a very hatched black and white. Then I couldn’t resist the temptation of watercolors. The result is bleak, I think I can say!

Ink, Watercolor. 52.5×34.