© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Satan, the chief instigator of perversity, degeneracy, and dark mysticism, became the focus of an underground cult that prospered in the last decades of the 19th century. The predilection of symbolist artists for the bizarre and the supernatural made the demonic, beast-like Satan an unsurprising character of choice. Drawn from the Book of Job, the subject of this lively sketch executed in mixed media, however, shows the figure of Satan before his fall.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour, French (Grenoble, France 1836 - 1904 Buré (Orne), France)
Satan before the Lord
Work Type
19th century
Physical Descriptions
Black chalk, brown ink, brown and gray wash, white gouache on gray wove paper
actual: 25 x 33.9 cm (9 13/16 x 13 3/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.l., brown ink: Fantin
  • inscription: lower center, brown ink, in artist's hand: Job. Ch. 1 von. xi
  • inscription: lower center, brown ink, in artist's hand: Satan: Mais entends donc et-touche ta main et touche à tout ce qu'il possèse, et tu verras / s'il me ta blasphème pas en face. [The first "et touche" is crossed out]
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous Loan in honor of Jakob Rosenberg
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Franklin Einspruch, Fuse Visual Art Review: A Pair of Drawing Shows at the Harvard Art Museums, The Arts Fuse ([e-journal], June 9, 2016), http://artsfuse.org/146319/fuse-visual-arts-review-a-pair-of-drawing-shows-at-the-harvard-art-museums/, accessed June 9, 2016

Exhibition History

Flowers of Evil: Symbolist Drawings, 1870–1910, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu