NARDO DI CIONE
(b. ca. 1320, Firenze, d. ca. 1365, Firenze)
Hell (north wall)1354-57
Cappella Strozzi di Mantova, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
Opposite Paradise the famous panorama of Hell covers the entire north wall. It encompasses six large, curved segments of a mountain interior, which in turn have many subdivisions. The architecture of hell and many of the scenes that take place there are borrowed directly from Dante's Inferno, which is reproduced here in a monumental painting for the first time. It was probably inspired by miniature illustrations of the Divine Comedy, a major theme of Italian manuscript illumination from the 1330s on.
Unfortunately, damage to the fresco of hell in the Strozzi Chapel has deprived it of much of its original effects. Details can picked out only with difficulty.