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The Devils Under the Bridge   1824-27
pen and watercolour over chalk and pencil (NGV 17)
Felton Bequest, 1920
National Gallery of Victoria

Inferno XXI, 46-57. This shows the scene in the fifth chasm of the eighth circle, with the devils jabbing at the Lucchese Magistrate Bonturo Dati, head of the popular party at the time and the worst of all his fellows at fraud. In the distance the Seducers pursued by demons can still be seen. Dante described great rock bridges as characteristic of Malebolge but Blake depicts them as being made from petrified, giant pieces of human anatomy.

(c)1999 National Gallery of Victoria