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Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos. Table of Contents Genre (slide 3) Genre (slide 3) Style (slide 4) Style (slide 4) –Henry Fuseli (slides 5 and 6) Artist.

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Presentation on theme: "Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos. Table of Contents Genre (slide 3) Genre (slide 3) Style (slide 4) Style (slide 4) –Henry Fuseli (slides 5 and 6) Artist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos

2 Table of Contents Genre (slide 3) Genre (slide 3) Style (slide 4) Style (slide 4) –Henry Fuseli (slides 5 and 6) Artist (slide 7) Artist (slide 7) Subject Matter (slides 8-10) Subject Matter (slides 8-10) Iconography (slides 11-18) Iconography (slides 11-18) Political Context (slide 19) Political Context (slide 19) Cultural Context (slides 20-24) Cultural Context (slides 20-24) Social Context (slide 25-27) Social Context (slide 25-27) Ownership (slide 28) Ownership (slide 28) Closing (slide 27) Closing (slide 27) Bibliography (slide 30) Bibliography (slide 30)

3 Genre It is classified as a historical painting because it’s based on a literary scene from John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667). It is classified as a historical painting because it’s based on a literary scene from John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667). Romantic painting because of its stylistic and ideological content. Romantic painting because of its stylistic and ideological content.

4 Style Satan Leaving the Court Chaos is a Romantic style painting: a style classified by the deep saturated tones of colors. Satan Leaving the Court Chaos is a Romantic style painting: a style classified by the deep saturated tones of colors. There is a strong contrast between light and dark, as can be seen between the characters in the painting and the dark background. There is a strong contrast between light and dark, as can be seen between the characters in the painting and the dark background. There is an emphasis on brushwork and the subjects are drawn from literature and are focused on intense emotion and passion. There is an emphasis on brushwork and the subjects are drawn from literature and are focused on intense emotion and passion. intensity, masculinity, defiance of rules, and individual genius- all are ideals that apply to the solitary, heroic form of Satan. intensity, masculinity, defiance of rules, and individual genius- all are ideals that apply to the solitary, heroic form of Satan. Strong sense of the sublime throughout the painting. Strong sense of the sublime throughout the painting.

5 Henry Fuseli ( ) The Pre-Romantic ideas and techniques that appear in Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos appear in the work of contemporary artists, especially Henri Fuseli. The Pre-Romantic ideas and techniques that appear in Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos appear in the work of contemporary artists, especially Henri Fuseli. – –life-long fascination with Milton – –40 works illustrating Milton’s poetry – –Opened a Milton Gallery in 1799

6 Fuseli Continued Romantic style – –Use of folk tradition – –Subdued color tones – –light contrast – –theatrical pose Use of the sublime – –Terror – – nightmarish depiction – –obscurity Theatrical pose – – Intemperance of body is an association with Fuseli – –increased portrayal of extreme passion, rape of consciousness

7 Artist The artist who painted Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos is regrettably unknown, but most likely a follower of Henry Fuseli’s style The artist who painted Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos is regrettably unknown, but most likely a follower of Henry Fuseli’s style The common conception is that it was made circa 1800 The common conception is that it was made circa 1800  Possible Artists  Thomas Freeman  a follower of Henry Fuseli  exhibited a work titled Satan at the Court of Chaos: Milton’s Paradise Lost in 1784 at the Royal Academy but this work, along with any other works by Freeman, have been lost  Henry Tresham  also a follower of Fuseli  Painter of historical scenes  exhibited paintings illustrating Milton  Very similar style

8 Subject Matter The painting is set in John Milton's Paradise Lost, Book Two, as Satan is fleeing from the Court of Chaos. The painting is set in John Milton's Paradise Lost, Book Two, as Satan is fleeing from the Court of Chaos. The painting uses one frame to capture the arrival of Satan in this chaotic court, his discussion with Chaos, and his flight on toward Earth. It contains several elements quoted directly from this work. The painting uses one frame to capture the arrival of Satan in this chaotic court, his discussion with Chaos, and his flight on toward Earth. It contains several elements quoted directly from this work.

9 Subject Matter Continued The background is dark, foggy, and riddled with multiple perspectives, illustrating the attitude of the landscape described by Milton: "Quenched in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea/ Nor good dry land; nigh foundered, on he fares,/ Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,/ Half flying..." The background is dark, foggy, and riddled with multiple perspectives, illustrating the attitude of the landscape described by Milton: "Quenched in a boggy Syrtis, neither sea/ Nor good dry land; nigh foundered, on he fares,/ Treading the crude consistence, half on foot,/ Half flying..." There are enough bodies to account for all of the characters that Milton mentions, Satan, Chaos, Night, Orcus, Ades, Demogorgon, Rumor, Chance, Tumult, Confusion, and Discord. Chaos, Satan, and Night are easiest to spot, but others have been attributed titles based on various characteristics and symbolism. There are enough bodies to account for all of the characters that Milton mentions, Satan, Chaos, Night, Orcus, Ades, Demogorgon, Rumor, Chance, Tumult, Confusion, and Discord. Chaos, Satan, and Night are easiest to spot, but others have been attributed titles based on various characteristics and symbolism.

10 Subject Matter Continued Even Satan's flight and Chaos's "go forward" gesture are described by Milton, as Chaos urges Satan on his quest: "'Go, and speed;/ Havoc, spoil, and ruin are my gain.'/ He ceased, and Satan stayed not to reply.” Even Satan's flight and Chaos's "go forward" gesture are described by Milton, as Chaos urges Satan on his quest: "'Go, and speed;/ Havoc, spoil, and ruin are my gain.'/ He ceased, and Satan stayed not to reply.”

11 Iconography Satan Satan –reminiscent of Michelangelo’s portrayal of the human body  characteristic of Fuseli’s work –outstretched arm and extended finger is similar to the Sistine Chapel painting of Adam and God reaching out to one another –abstraction /omission of the face- implies obscurity, complexity of emotion

12 Iconography of Satan “Springs upward like a pyramid of fire/Into the wild expanse, and through the shock/ Of fighting elements, on all sides round/ Environed wins his way (II ) “Springs upward like a pyramid of fire/Into the wild expanse, and through the shock/ Of fighting elements, on all sides round/ Environed wins his way (II ) Sheer power and energy emphasized by clothing Sheer power and energy emphasized by clothing Satan’s War Helmet and spear are Martial symbols that not only humanize him but also emphasize his pure strength and power. Satan’s War Helmet and spear are Martial symbols that not only humanize him but also emphasize his pure strength and power. The artist's choice to hide his face implies that Satan is experiencing an emotion so complex that it cannot be portrayed The artist's choice to hide his face implies that Satan is experiencing an emotion so complex that it cannot be portrayed –A moment of humanity

13 Iconography Continued “ …behold the Throne Of Chaos, and his dark Pavilion spread Wide on the wasteful Deep; with him Enthron’d Sat Sable-vested Night, eldest of things, The consort of the Reign; and by them stood Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name Of Demogorgon; Rumor next and Chance, And Tumult and Confusion all imbroild, And Discord with a thousand various mouths.” Milton, Paradise Lost

14 Iconography continued The snake The snake –references Hell and the Fall of Man - Eve tempted by Satan as a snake in Eden –general reference to evil and cunning Clouds and Darkness: Clouds and Darkness: –imagery of the depths of Hell, void, lost, unwelcoming, negative –However- there are positive Biblical references to darkness and clouds- possibly on purpose by Milton?  He [God] made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. (Psalm 18:11)  Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. (2 Chronicles 6:1)

15 Iconography continued Chaos Chaos –Displayed as the central figure of the group –Leader –Old, as if he is an ancient ruler –Outstretched hand symbolizes his role in ‘sending Satan forth’ Night Night –Obvious reference to darkness with the cloak –Extremely old, withered –Similarities to Satan  “claw-like” hands and feet  Emphasis on hands  Hidden face

16 Iconography continued Other Characters (identified according to the research of T. Riggs, identity of characters is debatable) Discord Discord –Described as having “a thousand various mouths” in Milton –Snake-like hair can be symbolic of these thousand mouths, each snake with a separate mouth Confusion Confusion –Identified by as the pale figure with the elongated face –Reference to the “confused look” on his face –The pale color of this figure could indicate the blank state that the feeling of confusion leaves in a person Note: according to C. Douglass –Confusion is identified as the blindfolded figure –blindfold symbolizes the undirected, “confused” state of the figure –grasping the hair of the figure next to him- indicates the need to grasp onto something concrete, as someone does when they are confused Confusion Discord

17 Iconography continued Tumult Tumult –Identified as the blindfolded figure holding a sword –Associated with battle in Greek mythology- significance of the sword Note: according to C. Douglass –identified as the snake-haired figure who is, according to Milton, “all embroiled with Confusion” Chance Chance –Identified as a feminine character –Associated with goddess Fortuna –The turning of the head could symbolize her need to look away from what she symbolizes but cannot control- “chance” Note: the female qualities that are attributed to the above could also be given to Discord, who, in Greek mythology, was the goddess, ‘Discordia’ Rumor Rumor –Characteristics of the “wind”  Wind-blown hair and drapes  Swollen face –reference to wind symbolizes the quick spread of words through rumors Tumult Chance Rumor

18 Iconography Continued Demogorgon Demogorgon –Dark figure in the far right –Always portrayed as part monster, sometimes with no human qualities –Possible that the “snake” is an extension of himself as a tail –Symbolic that his back is turned  He is identified as a “mysterious and terrifying deity of the underworld” Orcus Orcus –Helmeted figure, a god of the Underworld –Punisher of broken oaths Ades Ades –Also known as “Hades” God of the Underworld –The fact that he is older and bearded gives the figure kingly features Demorgorgon Orcus Ades

19 Political Context French Revolution ( ) estimated date of painting ( ). French Revolution ( ) estimated date of painting ( ). French Revolution and American Revolution could have been inspirations. French Revolution and American Revolution could have been inspirations. Satan could also represent a new voice and hope for the old demons; analogy to the new hope given by the National Assembly to the lower classes. Satan could also represent a new voice and hope for the old demons; analogy to the new hope given by the National Assembly to the lower classes. The Catholic Church lost prestige and power in French government. The Church did not agree with the revolution and so some people began to dissociate themselves from it. (Satan, Death, and Sin mockery of The Holy Trinity.) The Catholic Church lost prestige and power in French government. The Church did not agree with the revolution and so some people began to dissociate themselves from it. (Satan, Death, and Sin mockery of The Holy Trinity.)

20 Cultural Context The artist’s attempt to instill extreme passion, spirituality, and qualities of the sublime in the work reflect common stylistic and ideological trends of its time. The artist’s attempt to instill extreme passion, spirituality, and qualities of the sublime in the work reflect common stylistic and ideological trends of its time.

21 Cultural Context Continued This unknown artist inherits and conveys an understanding of Paradise Lost held by many contemporary thinkers. This unknown artist inherits and conveys an understanding of Paradise Lost held by many contemporary thinkers. These terms, in general, consisted of the Humanization and Romanticization of Satan as a tragic, epic hero, and appeared in the work of intellectuals such as William Blake and Edmund Burke, who are both shown below. These terms, in general, consisted of the Humanization and Romanticization of Satan as a tragic, epic hero, and appeared in the work of intellectuals such as William Blake and Edmund Burke, who are both shown below.

22 Cultural Reflections: William Blake and Edmund Burke The most significant function of this obscurity is its contribution to the painting is its’ qualities of the sublime. The most significant function of this obscurity is its contribution to the painting is its’ qualities of the sublime. As Edmund Burke explains, “whatever is in any sort terrible, is a source of the sublime.” Burke Further notes that, “to make anything very terrible, obscurity seems in general to be necessary.” As Edmund Burke explains, “whatever is in any sort terrible, is a source of the sublime.” Burke Further notes that, “to make anything very terrible, obscurity seems in general to be necessary.” William Blake says that Milton was “of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” William Blake says that Milton was “of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” –And he “wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell.” (The marriage of heaven and hell, 74-75)

23 Cultural Reflections Continued The painting demonstrates other Romantic ideals The painting demonstrates other Romantic ideals –“Romantics asserted that freedom is the right and property of one and all,” and that in the style of Romanticism an intense desire for freedom can be depicted. – “The path to freedom was through imagination rather than reason and functioned through feeling rather than thinking.” This emphasizes the feeling and emotion behind the painting. –Romantics portray “a world of fantasy, including the ghoulish, the infernal, the terrible, the nightmarish, the grotesque, the sadistic, and all other imagery that comes from the chamber of horrors when reason is asleep.”

24 Cultural Context Continued   Blake’s illustration of Book IV - Satan as an innocent, angelic figure. striking physical similarities to Adam and Eve.   The serpent around his body identifies him as Satan, but portrayed as a burden.   Downcast glance- sense of regret and despair he feels in Book IV.

25 Social Context Assuming it was done before or during the French Revolution: Assuming it was done before or during the French Revolution: –Links with Romanticism  Exemplifies the rights of the individual  Illustrates religious rebellion –Milton may have been viewed as a radical during this time  Satan’s revolt against God parallels the Third Estate’s revolt against the Old Regime  Satan becomes the hero

26 Social Context Continued Assuming the painting is painted after the French Revolution: Assuming the painting is painted after the French Revolution: –The painting shows a new unity in the French people This is a direct allusion to the French Revolution; the masses joining together under Napoleon to fight for their freedom. This is a direct allusion to the French Revolution; the masses joining together under Napoleon to fight for their freedom. –Satan is the unconventional hero, who is representing the crowd of characters left in the Court of Chaos.

27 Social Context Continued To show Satan’s power over the people, he is depicted as the ideal symbol of strength and power through his taut, muscular frame. To show Satan’s power over the people, he is depicted as the ideal symbol of strength and power through his taut, muscular frame. He is visually equivalent in size to all the other characters combined. He is visually equivalent in size to all the other characters combined. –This emphasizes his control and strength over those around him.

28 Ownership Purchased in the 1970s by Spencer A. Samuels and Company, Ltd., New York from a widow of an European “amateur” collector. Purchased in the 1970s by Spencer A. Samuels and Company, Ltd., New York from a widow of an European “amateur” collector. Then Purchased on December 3, 1975 by the Ackland Art Museum. Then Purchased on December 3, 1975 by the Ackland Art Museum.

29 Closing Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos is one artist’s visual interpretation of a scene from Milton’s Paradise Lost. Satan Leaving the Court of Chaos is one artist’s visual interpretation of a scene from Milton’s Paradise Lost. –But it takes into account the Romantic era of painting. –Also the painting embraces the politcal, social and cultural frameworks that were intertwined with the time.

30 Bibliography   Blake, William. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Oxford University Press,   Burke Edmund. A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. Oxford University Press,   Kleiner, Fred, and Christin Mamiya. Art Through the Ages. Belmont, CA: Thomson and Wadsworth,   Milton, John. Paradise Lost. London, England: Penguin Classics,   collections  


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