The artist would use graphite, ink and watercolour on paper in order to put together this multi-figure portrait. One can fairly easily see the contrasting mediums used, with clear lines of ink and graphite filled with an expressive, informal use of watercolour. The style is, of course, entirely typical of Blake who produced many illustrations for various publications throughout his career. These would include front covers as well as other illustrations which would sit alongside text, normally bringing some of these important stories to life in a way that words alone could not quite achieve. William Blake was not the only artist to gain inspiration from Dante's Divine Comedy, but his contributions were undeniably amongst the best, with other memorable work from Sandro Botticelli is worthy of note. Plutus the artwork today resides in the collection of the Tate, a major organisation who host many of the UK's best ever art and continues to add to its permanent display ever year through a combination of targeted acquisitions and personal donations.

Within Plutus we immediately spot three main figures, with an elderly man crouched in the foreground and two more composed females behind him watching on. Plutus was the god of Riches and was remembered for specifically guarding the souls of the avaricious (those with a greedy desire for wealth). This was therefore an attempt by the artist to warn us of the dangers of greed and the importance of remaining humble and connected to reality. Materialism was a growing problem in his eyes and traditional literature and scripture could help us all learn the lessons from the past. Some elements of this scene were not filled in with watercolour, but elements of the original pencil work still remain. See, for example, below Plutus' right hand where his money sack would have been added. He is specifically guarding the edge of the Fourth Circle as mentioned in Inferno VI.

You will find Plutus within the collection of Tate, a major organisation based in the UK. Their selection of Blake paintings are not always out on display, though, so it may be necessary to arrange an appointment to see some of them in person if there is a specific artwork that you want to view. For those with broader tastes, there are many other famous British artists featured within their extensive collection, with most of those more traditionally-minded artists to be found in the Tate Britain. More modern work is then displayed elsewhere at the Tate Modern or in some of their smaller regional galleries. Ophelia by Millais and The Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse are perhaps two of the most iconic British paintings in history and both can be found within the collection of Tate. There is also a number of important Whistler paintings here as well, such as Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge.

Plutus in Detail William Blake