From our team here at NGV, we would like to express our very best wishes to our community at this time. We are currently closed to the public and will reopen on Saturday, 27 June, 2020.

In line with Victorian Chief Health Officer’s guidance, the NGV will implement a variety of public health and physical distancing measures including free timed ticketing, appropriate queue management and increased deep cleaning of facilities, as well as increased hand sanitiser stations.

We encourage you to continue to visit our website and follow #NGVEveryDay on social media for updates on our reopening and daily inspiration.

We are very grateful for the loyalty of the NGV community and look forward to welcoming 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.