White on Black Sketch #4 – Dante’s Inferno

In the last canto of Dante’s Inferno, the Florentine poet arrives at the center of the final circle of Hell, where he lays eyes on Lucifer himself. Here Hell has literally frozen over, and the Devil is described as encased up to his waist in ice. Lucifer has three faces, and in each mouth he chews on, but never quite finishes devouring, a notable sinner. The three devourees are Cassius, Brutus and Judas Iscariot, all guilty of the sin of treason towards a benefactor, which, evidently, is the greatest sin of all.

In Dante’s cosmology, Lucifer stands at the very center of the Earth, and for this drawing I had in mind a conception of him as the gravitational center of all Evil, the point towards which all temptation is ultimately pulling. Or perhaps his mouths could be interpreted as a kind of triple black hole, devouring as much of the light of the Universe as they can.


This entry was posted in illustration, Poetry, watercolour and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to White on Black Sketch #4 – Dante’s Inferno

  1. Rebecca B. says:

    An unsettling vision of evil!
    You white on black images are really quite surprising, each time.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know why but I’d rather stay away from that drawing …

    ps: Totally agree with Norma Buddle !


  3. memadtwo says:

    I love drawing on black paper also. This is very effective and a great representation of the stanza. N.


  4. Norma buddle says:

    You are a wonderful artist making all this accessible to people who may not ever have heard of Dante etc learning English as another language too through your inspirational ‘ comics’fabulous art work and concepts Thankyou


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