This is the underworld. – The Isle of the Dead V by Arnold Böcklin

The Isle of the Dead V by Arnold Böcklin

This is the way to the underworld.

The boatman takes the convicted to meet their fate. Together they cross lively blue waves and bright rays of light to penetrate into an abysmal landscape where the water and the sky share the same dark shades. Nothing appears like the earth they left anymore. The progression towards a new shore is gradual and gentle. Voices sing in unison. To the ears of the convicted they sound like a seducing melody  resounding from the mountains. They reach his mind before penetrating into and capturing his soul, languorously whispering reassuring lyrics while he slowly closes his eyes. His body rocks back and forth to the paddles’ boatman-orchestrated rhythm. As he reaches the island, the body disappears. The soul remains intact. It is engulfed by  a black tunnel where a deep silence lingers. The entrance has been cleared, there is no turning back. At this realization, the vulnerable soul screams in  anguish, and as it projects an inevitable suffering, it attempts to find a place to hide.

In vain.

No souls can avoid it.

This is the underworld.

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