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The 8th Canto, the stygian swamp

Inferno, VIII, 40-42. Virgil pushes Filippo Argenti in the swamp.

Fifth circle, Dante and Virgil descend to the Stygian swamp, following the stream that forms it. In the background stand the towers of the city of Dite which the two are going to. But in the meantime it is necessary to cross the swamp. In the mud flocks of damned souls wallow and collide with each other for the anger and sloth that marked them in life. The soul of Filippo Argenti, a florentine in which Dante recognizes one of his political adversaries, tries to get on the boat - led by the demon Flegias - to draw Dante down into the mud. He is anticipated by Virgil, who pushes him back into the swamp.
The swamp is rendered by Dante in a very "material" way, by the mud and by the smells. I then put the swamp in the foreground, and so its mud and its damned souls. Delacroix will be turning in his grave ....

Ink and watercolour, size cm 38 x 48. July 2022.