Thursday, October 09, 2008

Engraving of Dante's 'Inferno', C.1460-70

"In the centre Lucifer torturing several damned souls, some of whom are named (eg. 'BRUTO, TOLOMEO, ANTENOR, CHASSIO'); around this other sinners are being tortured by devils; various cardinal sins are also indicated (eg. 'LUSURIA, AVARICIA, Ghalf length, INVIDIA').

This is the upright version of another print of the same subject derived from the 'Last Judgement' fresco formerly attributed to Andrea di Cione -called Orcagna- in the Campo Santo, Pisa; the fresco is now believed to be by the Pisan painter and illuminator Francesco Traini and is dated from the mid-1330s; however, the Pisa composition is treated here with freedom - for example, the composition is changed from a horizontal one into an upright oblong and many of the figures are omitted. The BM and Vienna impression of this print have, according to Hind, been reworked throughout in hard and regular cross-hatching. "
- source

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