Dante's Beasts

In the first canto of the Inferno, Dante encounters three fierce animals in the midst of a dark wood; a lion, a leopard, and a she-wolf. These watercolors were studies for a series of larger oil paintings, and I tried to capture the strange half-corporeal, half-spiritual nature of the three creatures.

'So that the air seemed to tremble'

'And it did not depart from before my eyes'

'She put such a weight on me, with the fear that grew from the sight of her'

Finally, after about nine years, the three beasts have been successfully completed, in oil on poplar panel.