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The famous sculptor worked on his sculpture for several years. He began work in 1874, which he conducted simultaneously with the image of Christ. In 1879, Antakolsky creates a bust, on which he later imposes several sketches, and in 1883 he leads to the execution of his plan. The Hermitage received in its collection the work of the famous sculptor of 1897.
The creation of the devil, who constantly tempts man, tests him, sets his task to take possession of the human soul, has always been of interest to genius. Antakolsky took his interpretation from Goethe from his famous "Faust", which was not only portrayed as a tempter, but also a destroyer and a denier of the integrity of the picture of the world.
The sculptor of the literary hero transfers to the image. Then he departs a little from the hero of Goethe and gives him his own vision, understanding. He convey to him the features of his society. He is depicted as nervous, sick, irritated, that is how the artist sees the society of his time. The sculpture came out not only as a source of evil, but also a source of inner experience, emptiness, irritation. Antakolsky portrays him naked, deprived of any clothes, thereby as if he exposes the problems of society.
In the sculpture of Antakolsky, a rather complicated relationship between good and evil can be traced. The acuity of the body, the long fingers, the clavicles protruding forward, the face, overly pointed - all this looks like a bunch of negative energy. Outwardly, the pose looks like unstable, tense, very close to the image of death. In this image, life denies everything: a forever frozen smile of fatigue, and pursed lips, and a sharp beard. It seems that he only lost his activity for a moment, he seemed to lurk in anticipation of a new sacrifice, from which he could take his soul out for eternity.
Bakst Ancient Horror