The Delville in the detail

leading from


self portrait of Jean Delville


a) My discovery
I found out about about Jean Delville's amazing painting "Treasures of Satan" in the early 1990s and then I suddenly realised that this is where H R Giger got the idea for the general shape of the creature in the painting Alien Monster IV which I had known about from the book Giger's Alien several years earlier. It seems as if he took the outline of the form of this Satan for his creature Alien Monster IV transforming the back tentacles into the creatures wings and the sheet of material wrapped around the upper arm (the sheet I suspect extends along the mass of bodies below him and it's by this he is dragging them along), into the shoulder of the alien, so the whole torso and the leg extending across the painting of this male ballet dancer like figure transforms into a single arm and part of the ribcage of the alien.  The sheet flowing down in front of Satan becomes the long neck of Alien Monster IV. The zigzagging tip of the tentacle to the bottom right of Delville's creature also shows as a motif in Idol of Perversity snaking between the woman's breasts, Giger transplants to the top left of his Alien Monster IV.

Jean Delville's Treasures of Satan

Alien (Winged) / Alien Monster IV by H.R.Giger
(Homage to Jean Delville?)




b) Noticing the Delville influence
At the end of the Alien production,  H R Giger can be found to have painted Alien Monster IV, (dated 1978 at www.littlegiger.com), which offers us in the form of another alien with an elongated head, similar to the movie creature and with hands that look as if it has fingers similar to those of the facehugger. However it is a homage to Jean Delville although nowhere has H R Giger told us about this in any of his published interviews.  The biomechanoid creature is part Jean Delville's Satan and part bird of prey perhaps an eagle. And after Alien, Andrzej Zulawski tried to get H R Giger to work on his film Possession which would be found to take ideas from Delville's work, but since it was so soon after Alien, H R Giger passed them onto Carlo Rambaldi who created for them a very memorable monster inspired in its different stages of transformation by Treasures of Satan and the poster for the film had been inspired by Idol of Perversity itself. The sudden interest in Delville's work may well connect with the fact that in 1978, the Italian book Il simbolismo di Jean Delville written by Maria Luisa Frongia. was published in Bologna, Italy. ( See: Possession: The Beast in Andrzej Zulawski's Berlin movie)

Delville's "Idol of Perversity"
Poster for Andrzej Zulawski's Possession
c) See also Delville's influence on Giger's facehugger

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