The Inferno, c. 1460-1480


Gift of Herschel V. Jonesexpand_more  P.10,586

Not on Viewexpand_more

As if attempting to gain some control over the afterlife, this anonymous engraver made hell an orderly place indeed. The arrangement was inspired in part by Dante's description of hell in the Divine Comedy. A three-headed Lucifer squats in the middle, bodies dangling from his mouths, stomach, and limbs. Tortures abound: people are dismembered, entwined with snakes, roasted on a spit, and sawed in two. At lower left, devils pour gold down a miser's mouth. The print's source evidently was a fresco at a cemetery in Pisa. Because the earliest Italian engravings were made on soft metal that wore out quickly, the only known examples of The Inferno exist in later, reworked impressions.

The Inferno
Accession Number
Black stamp verso, W. Koller (Lugt 2632) (punch hole in card)
Catalogue Raisonne
H.I.49.59 ii/ii
Curator Approved

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