NGV TEMPORARY CLOSURE

From our team here at NGV, we’re sending our best wishes to our community during this challenging time.

Following the latest public health directions from the Victorian Government, the NGV is temporarily closed to the public.

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We are grateful for the loyalty and understanding of the NGV community and hope to welcome you back soon.

William Blake Antaeus setting down Dante and Virgil in the Last Circle of Hell illustration to The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri 1824-27

William BLAKE
Antaeus setting down Dante and Virgil in the Last Circle of Hell (1824-1827)

One of the NGV’s greatest treasures is its collection of thirty-six William Blake watercolours illustrating Dante’s Divine Comedy. Blake produced 102 works for this project during a period of grave illness in the last years of his life. The watercolours are in various states of completion, and this one – illustrating the scene in which Virgil asks the giant Antaeus to set him and Dante down in the last circle of Hell – is one of the most finished. The work shows Blake’s extraordinary imagination and draftsmanship, as well as his mastery of technique: the stippling, rubbing and scratching out creates intense and luminous colour.