(b. 1755, York, d. 1826, London)
Engraving, 160 x 270 mm
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
This is an illustration to the Divine Comedy, Canto 28, by Dante.
During his stay in Italy, Flaxman was encouraged to develop his linear talent and he produced the works that gained him international fame - his illustrations to the works of Homer and Dante. These were engraved by Piroli and published in Rome in 1793. Although not sculpture, these drawings drew on his experience of sculpting in relief. They also show that he had been studying Greek vase painting very closely. In particular he was drawn to the economy of this art form, for he had a strong sense of the primitive.