Speaking of Gustave Doré's Geryon . . .
I believe that I've located the inspiration for Gustave Doré's depiction of Geryon! As we see in the image above, Virgil and Dante have just encountered this winged, serpentine creature, which can apparently vary its size, much like the fallen angels, for compared to the Doré illustration, it seems to have miniaturized its enormous bulk . . .
I learned of this denizen of the deep, the sea robin -- also known as the "gurnard" (Geryon - gurnard, mere coincidence?) -- in yesterday's hard copy of the International Herald Tribune, but we find it online from two months ago in a New York Times article, "The Ugliest Catch" (August 14, 2010), by Lawrence Downes:
For the unfamiliar: A sea robin is a rusty-colored fish with a skull-helmet of a head, bulging eyeballs, a maw like a wide-mouth jar, winglike fins and whiskery appendages that it uses to prowl the bottom, where it snaps up baited hooks, earning a very short visit to the boat or dock. The visit is short because fishermen take one look and throw it back.The article describes the "second annual Garbagefish.com fishing tournament," which Downs informs us is "run by some rude and witty New Jersey fishermen . . . dedicated to the proposition that all edible fish are created equal -- that the way to salvage the dignity of catching sea robins and not striped bass is to pretend you meant to do that."
I guess we now know what to do if we actually catch the genuine Geryon . . .