The Infernal Judge


This design was inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy – Canto V of Hell.  Here, we see Minos, the infernal judge, examining each soul as it stands for judgment and determining the number of the circle where the sinner belongs. This character Minos is inspired by King Minos of Crete, because of his cruelty while living, he became judge of the dead in the underworld (with Aiakos and Rhadamanthys).

In our version we show Minos as a mechanism, we decided the have him with two heads, working like a weighing-machine, just like the system used by Anubis (Egyptian mythology) to weigh out the dead, based on what they did when living. Minos hears the souls confess their sins. Right after taking that data, the Wheel over his head(s) start spinning and reveal the punishment set by the Judge. 

The Demons take the souls, right away and throw them to the circle defined by the infernal wheel. The symbols inside the circle are a projection of the sins from the soul at the “court” and reveal the crimes from the earthly life. The other symbols outside are part of the mechanism, like the structure of pyramid taking the information from the projection and bring it to the top where the Wheel stands; this information is processed and analysed by the eye in the middle. In the center of the main wheel we see the symbol of Pluto, which is the Roman version of Hades, lord of the underworld.

“Lower Hell” By C.W. Scott-Giles, for Dorothy Sayers translation of the Divine Comedy (1949)

In the head on the left, is written HERI, which means Yesterday- that head is on the same side where we see the past sins.  
The right head has the word  CRAS which means Tomorrow, that side shows us, a small triangle with a cross, the triangle is linked to the alchemical symbol of fire (instantly linked to the Christian hell). We see, as well, the cross (Lorraine version) that means sacrifice or salvation by suffering (if souls are fortunate enough to go to Purgatory). In this particular case, the cross is also the false hope.

“Lucifer”- Cornelis Galle after Lodovico Cigoli, c. 1595.
“Judge Minos” detail from -Last Judgment Fresco (Sistine Chapel ceiling) by Michelangelo Buonarroti , 1508- 1512.
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