Monday, 12 March 2012

The Treasures of Satan

Jean Delville, The Treasures of Satan, 1894.

In this orgasmic icon of infernal aesthetics and sinful sensations, Jean Delville, 1897-1953, one of the most enigmatic Symbolist painters of the fin de siècle, portrayed metamorphosis in a dream-like approach to the perils of mortal materialism and forbidden sensuality. Despite visions of Hell evoking a sense of punishment, here we witness a river of voluptuous sinners pouring from the impulse of Satan and entrapped within a sinister orgy of inferior spiritual evolution, with the depths of sea being the abyss where they drown willingly into a formless fixation with jewels, pearls, and sensuality amidst dreams, intoxications of the flesh and gold, orange, and red nebulas. Such a beautiful yet deceiving way to manifest the flames of Hell… And Satan, that adversary of old, is depicted as the essence of metamorphosis with his beauty being a godly enrapture of the most glorious angel yet his predatory tentacles luring the slumbering sinners into his infernal majesty, beautiful yet deceiving like the octopus, testifying to his nature as being transition from divine to unholy. For Satan is the pilgrimage will shall all encounter, from the Heavens to Hell, or from Hell to the Heavens.

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