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The Pit of Disease: Gianni Schicchi and Myrrha   1824-27
pen, ink and watercolour over pencil (NGV 25)
Felton Bequest, 1920
National Gallery of Victoria

Inferno XXX, 22-45. A scene in the tenth chasm, of the Falsifiers, in the eighth circle. Dante sees two pale and naked shadows rushing out biting like hungry swine. One, Gianni Schicchi, grabs Capocchio by the neck with his fangs. Capocchio, is probably the Florentine alchemist who was burned alive in Sienna in 1281. The other animal-headed figure on the left is Myrrha, daughter of King Cinyras of Cyprus with whom she had an incestuous relationship.

(c)1999 National Gallery of Victoria