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The 12th Canto, Dante meets the Minotaur…

“…Pàrtiti, bestia, ché questi non vene/ammaestrato da la tua sorella,/ma bassi per veder le vostre pene”

Inferno, XII, 19/21.

Dante e il Minotauro, Commedia, Inferno
Dante avoids the Minotaur and go down towards the Phlegeton river…


We are on the threshold of the seventh circle. For a landslide of boulders, watched by the Minotaur, Dante and Virgil, who keeps the beast at bay, invites Dante to descend quickly, before the monster recovers and annoys. We are at the incipit of the XII canto; we shall see the damned immersed in the blood of Phlegethon for having been violent in life towards the their kind. The first round of the seventh circle.
This Canto revives recovers the myths of the Minotaur and the Centaurs, of the wise Chiron, put to guard the boiling red Flegetonte, so that the damned, immersed there, do not escape punishment.
This is the first of two illustrations dedicated to XII canto; certainly the simplest. Since my model (I do not lack modesty …) is Rackham, I must say that here I have taken particular care to resume his technique and the result (made the due proportions) seems satisfactory to me. I accentuated the contours, going over the ink after the watercolor, and it seems to me that the legibility of the image gains. It seems to me…
If you search Google images for the iconography of the Minotaur you will be a little disappointed. Images of antiquity predominate and then substantially the Dorè model. Blake mixes the two myths by making a centaur with the head of a bull. Brilliant, like almost all the work of that English artist.
It seemed right to me, again for the aforementioned modesty, to add something els qui il testo dell’intestazione