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Antei dropping Dante and Virgil into the last circle of hell - William Blake. 1821-1827
Blake He died, leaving incomplete several artistic designs, including a series of illustrations for the Dante’s Divine Comedy, which are characterized by a philosophical allegory. According to the content of the poem, Virgil leads the author through the hell described by Dante in the form of a series of circles in which the categories of sinners condemned to eternal torment are placed. Watercolor (1821-1827) illustrates verses 112-143 of chapter 31 of Hell, where Dante and Virgil approach the last circle of hell - the place of residence of the titans, whose rebellion against Jupiter represents the sin of pride. Unlike his brothers, the titan Antei did not participate in this rebellion. He was invincible while in contact with his mother Earth, but Hercules managed to defeat him, tearing him from the Earth and strangling him in his arms. In the picture presented, Antei carefully lowers two poets to the edge of the abyss. Its huge forms are emphasized by the incomparability of the size of the figures and the bizarre posture of the titanium.
DANTE. The Florentine writer and poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) was one of the creators of the modern Italian language. In the book La Vita Nuova (New Life), written in 1292, he talks about his ideal love for a girl named Beatrice, whom he first saw when she was nine years old. She was dressed in a soft scarlet dress with a belt. Their second meeting happened nine years later. Walking accompanied by two women and dressed in a snow-white dress, Beatrice politely greeted him: "She bowed to me so graciously that it seemed to me then that I was seeing the limit of bliss." Their last meeting took place at a wedding feast - soon after that she died prematurely. The inconsolable Dante continued to reflect on her beauty and nobility, while his friends were more and more worried about his mind, clouded by sorrow. The English artist Rossetti painted some of the scenes of this book, and on his canvas the first anniversary of the death of Beatrice (1853), Dante is depicted painting an angel and not paying attention to the presence of his friends.
Dante is primarily known as the author of the Divine Comedy - an epic poem that describes the fate of people on Earth and in the afterlife. This poem consists of three parts: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. According to the plot, the ancient Roman poet Virgil leads the author through Hell and Purgatory, and Beatrice leads him through Paradise. During this journey, the reader and the author descend through 24 circles of Hell, ascend to two terraces and seven cornices of Mount Purgatory to Paradise on Earth, and finally rise above planets and stars to God.
The Divine Comedy contains many political and religious allegories and references to the circumstances of the life of Dante himself. This poem inspired many artists, including Botticelli. In the picture of Dante and Virgil in hell (1822), Delacroix depicted Dante and Virgil descending to the Underworld. It is believed that in the painting Parnassus (c. 1510) he used a lifetime portrait of Dante along with Virgil.