Gustave Doré, Dante and Virgil in the Ninth Circle of Hell, 1861

In Dante’s ‘Inferno,’ Dante himself is led through the nine circles of hell by the ancient poet Virgil, finally arriving at the ninth circle where those who hate the idea of love reside, including Satan himself. Since love brings warmth and comfort, these wretched souls dwell in an icy hinterland that stretches on indefinitely. They claw and bite at one another and writhe in pain. Virgil (in blue) looks concerned and worried, while Dante keeps in close contact with his guide.

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