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The 5th Canto , the tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca.

Inferno, Lussuriosi, la storia di Paolo e Francesca
“…E caddi come corpo morto cade.” Inferno, canto V

Inferno, canto V, 139-142. “… Mentre che l’uno spirto questo disse,/l’altro piangea; si che di pietade /io venni men così com’io morisse./ E caddi come corpo morto cade.

This is the eighth illustration dedicated to Dante’s Inferno, Divina Commedia. We are in Canto V: Dante and Virgilio are in front of an impetuous storm of wind that drags,  as in a vortex without respite,  a multitude of souls, the damned for lust. Among the many historical and literary figures Dante is attracted to Paolo and Francesca, brothers-in-law and lovers, killed by her husband. The tragic love story stuns Dante to the point of making him faint. It was a very well-known story at the time of the Poet and very illustrated. Dorè’s version is very well known, but I prefer the very particular, very dynamic and “mystical” version of William Blake (that I link from the site

I did not want (who knows why?!?) to portray a Dante stretched out on the ground. And so my version seems inspired on the one hand by one of the many “pietà”, on the other by certain fantasy and cartoon scenes. So it went.

33×47. Watercolor, watercolor colored pencils, pure graphite.