Painters Paintings William Bouguereau (1825-1905): Dante and Virgil in Hell, 1850, Oil on Canvas, 2…

Painters Work William Bouguereau (1825-1905): Dante and Virgil in Hell, 1850, Oil on Canvas, 281x 225 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris . .

The inspiration for Bouguereau’s ‘Dante and Virgil in Hell’ is Canto XXX from the “Inferno” sequence of the medieval poet Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy (1308-20). On this part, Dante and his information Virgil descend to the eighth circle of hell, the place they encounter the tormented souls of “falsifiers” (counterfeiters and fraudsters). Bouguereau was probably impressed by the next traces from the poem: “As I beheld two shadows pale and bare, / Who, biting, within the method ran alongside/ {That a} boar does, when from the sty turned free.” Within the foreground, the wrathful Capocchio – a good friend from Dante’s schooldays, who was burned on the stake as an alchemist (In an age when heresy and alchemy had been lethal sins, hell was the inevitable last vacation spot) – is attacked by Gianni Schicchi, one other of Dante’s contemporaries, who had impersonated a lifeless man so as to steal his inheritance. A demon hovers within the background, whereas different damned souls writhe round within the fiery panorama.
The desperation and the agony is strongly evident within the tense, straining muscular tissues and the decided, combative faces. The muscular our bodies are depicted in harmonious traces which counsel a daring, supple power. The scene is a fleeting second of the fight – we totally understand the motion and the fury of the battle.

The artist explors right here the aesthetic boundaries, exaggerating the poses and the muscle construction to the purpose of distorting it; contrasting color and shadows; and depicting monstrous figures and teams of damned souls.

Bouguereau would by no means return to Dante once more, quickly discovering that – in his personal phrases – “the horrible, the frenzied, the heroic doesn’t pay”, and that the general public most popular Venuses and Cupids…

Source : painters.paintings

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