Statues of Lucifer

#22

Quite a few differences, actually. And I think they do matter.

The 2nd version has a crown, a scepter (broken), an apple (bitten), the chains, horns. Etc.

Artistically, I like it. I’m not sure I would want it in a church building, but the artist does a very good job (in my opinion) of making the point that earthly beauty doesn’t count for much in terms of our eternal state. He’s good looking, but he’s miserable. And the more one looks, the less good-looking he gets. Take the face for example. From a distance, he looks attractive. Get closer and look at the details, and all that beauty becomes an illusion.

From a distance, his face looks handsome. Get closer and he looks ugly. He has a tear coming from his left eye. His skin bulges as if there were worms crawling underneath his skin. His hair looks like a $700 haircut from a distance, but get closer and it resembles a bed of writhing snakes. His horns are there, but only if you look closely. In other words, the beauty is deceptive. I certainly see the genius of the artist in conveying that idea: Satan looks attractive from a distance, but it’s all an illusion. The closer one gets to Satan, the more the evil appears. Seriously, artistic genius.

I also like it because it immediately reminds me of a very popular theme in Christian art: Christ after the scourging, or ecce homo.

I’ve seen better, but have a hard time finding a good example to post.

Here’s the point:

The statue of the devil is the opposite of that of Christ.

Christ wears His crown of thorns and holds His scepter. From a distance, it looks like defeat, but in reality, get closer and the defeat becomes victory. His hands are bound, but crossed over His chest in a classic gesture of prayer. Contrast that with the chain that permanently binds Satan to the rock.

Satan’s hands are free of any binding, but chaotic, confused, angry (note how the knuckles stand-out showing how tightly his left hand grips the broken scepter.

The broken scepter itself is in his left hand (not the right hand, the hand of justice). Justice is reversed!

continued…

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#23

Christ wears His crown of thorns as a crown of (impending) victory. Contrast that to the broken crown of Satan (one needs to zoom in close to see the damage) which he does not wear. He owns it, but he cannot wear it. He is the king of nothing.

Same with the scepter. Satan’s is broken. He clings to half of it, while the other half sits on the ground. A scepter symbolizes justice. A king is supposed to be the dispenser of justice. Satan does not dispense justice.

Christ’s face is calm and loving, despite the wounds. He accepts His fate (the coming crucifixion) serenely and lovingly. Satan, on the other hand, looks bewildered. He scratches his head in confusion and his brow is furrowed—again, classic signs.

The apple looks fine from a distance. Look closer, first see that a bite is missing. Closer still and it shows to be puckered and rotting.

Look again at Satan’s chain. Really look at it. Notice that where we expect it to be attached to the rock, it really is not attached. (artistic genuis). The last link is broken! He is not actually chained to the rock. It is his own right foot that keeps him from seeing that broken link. It is not God who made Satan miserable, but it is Satan’s own fault.

Yes, the more I look at it, the more I like it.

Probably going to post more later.

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#24

Actually Father the broken chain more directly inspires that he is set free - to rum the world. That is one scary detail.

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#25

Notice his right hand. It’s doing 2 things.

First, he’s scratching his head in confusion.

At the same time, it is his own hand that is pushing down on his head. Satan cannot lift his head because his own hand is keeping it down. Note how the muscles in the right arm are bulging. He is not resting his hand on his head—oh no, he’s pushing his own head down with all the strength his arm can muster.

Notice how his left foot is not resting on the rock (one can see that by looking at the shadows). The heel is elevated and the toes are showing muscle and knuckles. He is grabbing the rock. He’s clinging to it. It seems like a casual, comfortable resting pose from a distance. Get closer and see what’s really going on.

I would like a better angle to see the chain on his left wrist. I’ll bet there is something to be seen there.

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#26

I see that as the genius of the artist.

Rather than an either-or, I see it as both-and.

Yes, the broken chain means “free to roam the world” but at the same time, it has the other meanings that I’ve already posted.

Curious: in this photo from the same wiki page, the chain is not broken. It looks like it is breaking (we see fractures in that last link) but it’s mostly whole

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#27

Click and zoom-in on this image.

The last link is clearly broken.

image

The close-up image I posted a few minutes ago shows that last link whole, but fractured.

Odd. I wonder why. Was the statue damaged? Maybe in removing it, that weak link fell off???

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#28

Consider the Lucifer statue and compare/contrast with Rodin’s famous The Thinker.

image

Later addition:

The first Lucifer statue (Angel of Evil) was done in 1842

The replacement (The Genius of Evil) was done in 1848

Rodin’s Thinker was done in 1880.

It’s a popular theme.

See also Michelangelo’s il penseroso

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#29

Oh yes. The Enemy is also appearing to be thinking and he is staring at the apple and the chain as if to say - “whaa…?” Or “hm…where to begin?”

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#30

image

Notice how the hair resembles snakes.

Note the right horn. It’s near to piercing his right wrist. Evokes thoughts of the nails piercing Christ’s own hand/wrist.

As Satan’s own hand pushes his head down, the horn threatens to pierce the wrist. He’s both fighting himself and punishing himself at the same time.

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#31

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05649a.htm

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#32

I am on a posting break for a while, but just came back for a minute to say that I nominate Fr David as the next Sister Wendy. Thank you for these insightful art posts.

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#33

Who is she?

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#34

I am in USA, but Public Broadcasting here used to show her UK art documentaries. I watched a couple times.

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#35

You can tell it’s Lucifer or his followers usually if they have bat-like wings instead of the feathery wings that the Lord’s angels are shown to have.

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#36

@FrDavid96 @edward_george1 @Vico

The ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the Catechism is omission of passion/appetite as the Catholic Encyclopedia defines it here Appetite in Catholic Encyclopedia. In the CCC, Jealousy isn’t even analyzed, it just gets glued to envy. [The main driving passion/force of domestic violence.]

They managed to mostly leave out phenomenology of appetite (scattered), while pilling up the burden of morals and obligations. When does burden become too much whilst depriving readers of self-analyses methodology?

I remember reading the catechism back and forth thinking:“This can’t be it!! Something very important is missing!!” “The answers I need are not here.”

Sure enough, we get slogans like “Custody of the eyes” instead of dialogue based on methodical analyses by experience of attraction and appetite. Morals does not dispense phenomenology/philosophy !!

EFFECTS: The entire CAF has only 3 references to “appetitus irascibilis”, and 1 to “appetitus concupiscibilis” (50% are by @Vico)…

God bless.

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#37

How about this one?
(Here he also has 6 wings because he used to be a Cherubim):


Feathers… and he ain’t no angel (in the metaphorical sense he’s no angel because he used to be and now he’s out of the Heavenly Army or… sheesh this one is confusing). :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
I think it is the proud attitude that is definitory for him.

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#38

That’s a more modern depiction of Lucifer. I’m referring to statues from the renaissance up to the 20th century.

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closed #39

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