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The 12th Canto, The Phlegethon river, the Centaurs, the violent souls

Having overcome the obstacle of the Minotaur, Dante enters the first of the three sections of the seventh circle, where the souls, damned for their past of violence towards others,  are immersed in the boiling blood of the Phlegethon River. In this “bulicame”,  the damned are immersed to varying degrees according to the gravity of their guilt. The centaurs are placed on guard. They are governed by the wise Chiron, who entrusts Dante to the centaur Nessus to carry him, along the Phlegethon, up to the ford leading to the second section. The scene of Phlegethon,  full of boiling blood , is  splatter ante litteram. To render this atmosphere I chose to put some unidentified damned souls in the foreground, and gradually on different levels the centaurs, Dante, Virgil. The illustration seeks the effect, but, although strewn with various “errors”, I find it satisfactory in terms of composition.

Ink and watercolor, 43×34,5 cm.

Nel fiume Flegetonte, fiume di sangue bollente, i dannati per violenza verso il prossimo