Hell: Maybe Not That Great After All
Just in: A three volume work on art and design in Pisa (Pisa Illustrata Nelle Arti del Disegno, 2nd expanded ed., 1812) contains, along with various depictions of Pisa, two re-impressions of much earlier engravings. The two plates, both from the late 15th century, are by Baccio Baldini and depict St. Jerome (who I always think of as that guy that the Wife of Bath took down) and hell. The hell plate is Baldini’s version of the Camposanto fresco in Pisa. The frescos were damaged during World War II (the current state of the hell fresco is shown below). Amongst other horrors, The devil (or just a giant demon? Either way, a two fisted eater of humans) is shown eating people and then, possibly throwing them up out of his stomache/mouth. Or eating from two directions at once? It’s unclear, but what is interesting is that the Devil’s lower mouth has Simon Magus in it. Or, at least, a plaque with his name on it – the Simon Magus memorial nether mouth.