From our team here at NGV, we’d like to express our very best wishes to our community at this time.

Due to the evolving nature of COVID-19 and after following closely the State and Federal Government’s advice, we have extended the NGV’s temporary closure until 30 June.

If you have pre-purchased tickets for current exhibitions or upcoming programs, our team will be in contact with you shortly to arrange full refunds.

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

We are very grateful for the loyalty and understanding of the NGV community and wish everyone well during this time.


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.