Visions of Hell

Hell has always held a special place in both the imagination of man and his religions.  In Christianity it is described as a place of eternal torment and torture, an image that is used to scare a person into religious submission.  It is particularly destructive when such horror is used to scare children into accepting a religion, and often stays with a person their whole life, doing significant psychological damage if extreme measures are not taken to overcome such hurdles.

Purgatory as envisioned by Russian artist Sergey Tyukanov.

Hell as envisioned by Hieronymus Bosch.

Hell as depicted in the “Hours of Catherine of Cleves”, a lavishly illustrated 15th century book.

“Christ in Limbo” by Hieronymus Bosch.

Hell as Johfra Bosschart imagined it.

Art for Dantes Inferno, painted by Sandro Botticelli.

A detail of Jan van Eyck’s Last Judgement triptych.

The Harrowing of Hell by Jacob van Swanenburg

Pieter Soutman – The Fall of the Damned, after Peter Paul Rubens, 1642

Sybil and Aeneas in the Underworld by Jakob Isaaksz Swanenburgh

Jan Brueghel The Elder – Christ in Limbo, 1593

Detail, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch

The Gates of Hell by French artist Auguste Rodin

Detail, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch

Detail of Hell in a painting depicting the Second Coming (Georgios Klontzas, late 16th century)

 

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