The Ditch of Thieves: The Six-Footed Serpent Attacking Agnolo Brunelleschi

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Agnolo Brunelleschi is attacked by a monstrous serpent, his head tilted to the left under the bite
... Lo! a serpent with six feet
Springs forth on one, and fastens full upon him.
(Hell; Canto XXV, line 45.)
(Plate 4.)

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McGill University Library, the Internet Archive

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Description

Copper-plate engraving showing a scene from the seventh ditch in the eighth circle of Hell: Agnolo Brunelleschi stands in the foreground facing forward, naked as two other male figures on the right, while Dante and Virgil stand a step higher, on a rocky ledge at the left of the picture. Bruneslleschi’s head is tilted to the left under the bite of the monstrous serpent attacking him from behind, whose clawed feet cling tightly to his chest and limbs. Multiple snakes crawl ominously in the background while the hands of Brunelleschi’s companions seem to flutter in horror.

The caption was taken from Rev. Henry Francis Cary’s translation of Dante’s Inferno. New York, London, and Paris: Cassel, Petter, Galpin & Co., n.d.

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