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Geryon Conveying Dante and Virgil Down Towards Malebolge   1824-27
pen, ink and watercolour over pencil and chalk (NGV 14)
Felton Bequest, 1920
National Gallery of Victoria

Inferno XVII, 1-27 and 79-123. Virgil and Dante are carried on the back of the monster Geryon from the third ring of the seventh circle down to Malebolge in the eighth circle. In antiquity Geryon was a monster with three heads, six arms and three bodies joined together at the waist; he was slain by Hercules. In the middle ages, however, Geryon was equated with fraud, with the face of a just man but the body of a reptile.

(c)1999 National Gallery of Victoria