The Wallace Collection

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Faust and Mephistopheles
  • Eugène Delacroix (1798 - 1863)
  • Faust and Mephistopheles
  • France
  • 1827-8
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 45.5 x 37.7 cm
    Object size: 74.5 x 67 x 9.5 cm
  • Signature: 'Eug. Delacroix'
  • P324
  • West Gallery II
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • Exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1827-8. The subject is taken from Goethe’s 'Faust I' (1808). Faust, in a black gown and red hose, is confronted for the first time by the demon Mephistopheles disguised as a travelling scholar. The painting is probably later than the lithograph of the same subject produced as part of a series of illustrations to 'Faust' which Delacroix began in 1825. The figure of Faust may be based on that of John Knox in David Wilkie's painting 'Knox preaching before Mary Stuart' (National Trust, Petworth) which Delacroix had admired when he was in London in 1825. There are two drawings of the composition, probably preparatory studies for the lithograph, in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, and the Pierpont Morgan Library (Thaw Collection), New York.