Delville's "Treasures of Satan" and Descendants

Still collating. 
You can imagine how confusing this subject when people around the world are still guessing about the nature of these paintings and very little has been documented about the creative process that went into them other than a few bizarre quotes from the painters for the sake of politeness

a) Delville's painting
Jean Delville the Belgian symbolist painted his masterpiece "Treasures of Satan" back in 1894 depicting Satan in a sensuous under sea world with the devil as a ballet dancer like man curiously with wings transformed into tentacles which perhaps have ensnared the souls.

What brought him to compose such a painting in this way is still being guessed. (See:

b) Origins of Delville's composition?
However I decided that the Zigzag devil from the Bradshaw Caves had something to do with the design, found shortly before Delville painted his work,  as well as at least one dragon by Gustave Moreau and since Delville was a very sensuous painter, he explored the idea for this Lucifer in a very sensual way.

Perhaps those who were going to take in the message who were also fans of his art, would be less horrified since despite being damned, the ensnared souls appear to be comfortable in their state.

Jean Delville's "Treasures of Satan" (1894)

c) Descendants in the first half of the 20th Century
A curious phenomena since then was the fact that one artist would paint a picture referencing his work, so far I have seen that Otto Dix started with his Skat Players painting, and then the following year Max Ernst would do his own with Celebes, perhaps abstractly incorporating elements of Dix's work.

Picasso's Guernica followed over a dozen years later and then Dali would become inspired to head that direction himself along with other artists referencing Delville's painting and the works by other artists who came since.

Perhaps this had died out with the surrealist movement, and then Giger continued with this tradition regarding that particular Delville painting with his Alien Monster IV in the late 1970s.

Here I list paintings by painters from the earlier half of the twentieth century who have become ensnared and on another page Part II present works that have krept up in the latter half of the twentieth century. If we are thinking about paintings before the 1960s, I've decided to look for eighteen main works, not including sketches leading and roughs leading to the paintings..

d) Otto Dix's "Skat Players- Card Playing War Invalids" (1920)
Roughly Delville's composition has been transformed into the three invalids playing cards, with the spikes on the tentacles transformed into the newspapers behind. 

The sea weed tree on the right of Delville's painting has been transformed into a hat stand.

Otto Dix's "Skat Players- Card Playing War Invalids" (1920)
e) Max Ernst's Celebes (1921)
In this series, Celebes, has gone to Delville's undersea underworld and near enough transformed Satan into an elephantine strange vacuum cleaner like submarine inspired by an African storage vessel.  Perhaps too he thought about Otto Dix's painting as well

Like Treasures of Satan, Celebes takes place in an under water world, is dominated by a monstrous form.

The Satan's wing tentacles have transformed into a trunk, and the front pointed parts have transformed into perhaps the tusks or the bulls horns or both.

The tree like growth Delville's work on the right becomes this strange cactus like form, perhaps echoing the hat stand from Dix's Skat Players.

Only one of the ensnared naked people remain but standing and without a head.

The feet of the elephantine creature perhaps echo the leg stumps of the central Skat player from Dix's painting.
Max Ernst's Celebes (1921)

f) Pablo Picasso's Guernica (1937)

Picasso's Guernica embraces details from Dix's Skat Players and Ernst's Celebes. The floating weed above in Celebes is transformed into the bull's tail, and various elements of Skat Players become transformed into the left side of Guernica.

See also: Pablo Picasso's Guernica (1937)
Pablo Picasso's Guernica (1937)

g)  Yves Tanguy's Sans titre (1937)
The idea is that Yves took note of Celebes and so in this untitled composition would play around with some elements of it.

As far as I know, it's not written anywhere, I just pulled the idea out of a magic hat as far as any one could be concerned, as with much about these paintings and I didn't have a clue this image existed until five minutes before posting the image, but was drawn to it when searching for the possibility of such an image.

This drawing shows an undersea world with perhaps a fish. Perhaps Celebes' bull horns and/or elephant tusks have become the tuning fork like structure in the background. Perhaps the frill from Celebes' trunk has become the inverted frill here. Perhaps the tree like form from Celebes on the right has become part of the central structure of this picture.

Perhaps loose comparisons can be made to Guernica as well, such as the eye at the top is a reference to the light from Guernica.

Sans titre (1937)
Yves Tanguy

h) Dali's "Debris of an automobile giving birth to a blind horse biting a telephone" (1938)
Dali takes the horse near to the centre of Guernica and transforms it in to a composition all about the horse merging with machinery, and perhaps this also echoes the curiosity of Guernica that from one perspective appears to be an elephant merged with a vacuum cleaner

Dali's "Debris of an automobile giving birth to a blind horse biting a telephone" (1938)

i) André Masson's Dans la tour du sommeil, 1938, 

Andre Masson paints his figure amidst the Guernica like destruction.

In Delville's painting, there is an almost triangular shaded area to the right that follows the slant of the pile of humans and perhaps he has turned that into the harp, with the devils tentacle wings becoming the upper part of the harp.  

A strip of ground covered with coins and a pale under sea plant leading down diagonally to the bottom left of the painting becomes transformed by Masson into the large human's leg. 

Which came first, this or Dali's "Debris of an automobile giving birth to a blind horse biting a telephone" created the same year?

Can we see signs of one in the other when we consider the curve of the left upper part of the harp that echoes the shape of the horse's rear?

André Masson's Dans la tour du sommeil, (1938)

j) Dali's "Daddy Longlegs of the Evening - Hope!" (1940)
Dali merges elements of Treasures of Satan, Celebes, Skat Players and Guernica in a transformed state in his painting, perhaps takes into consideration elements from André Masson's Dans la tour du Sommeil with the harp featuring female body parts and turning into a tree with a low wall around it.

See also:  Dali's "Daddy Longlegs of the Evening - Hope!" (1940)
Dali's "Daddy Longlegs of the Evening - Hope!" (1940)
k) James Gleeson's "Galaxy" (1943)
James Gleeson appears to take Dali's "Daddy Longlegs of the Evening - Hope!" (1940) and generally turn much of it inside out, bringing in horns that might either be as the horns of the Guernica bull or the front tips of the tentacles of the devil in Treasures of Satan.

There might be various comparisons between this painting and Delville's to be aware of and then in a non definite way because of the nature of the painting.
James Gleeson's "Galaxy" (1943)
l) Wifredo Lam's The Eternal Present (An Homage to Alejandro García Caturla) (1944)
Wifredo Lam painted  The Eternal Present, taking such things as mythological concepts from the  Yoruban belief system and presented them in ways that could engage viewers with little understanding of those concepts.

The first thing to point out is that it seems reminiscent of Picasso's work and then one might point to works such as "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" and "Guernica", I would personally go straight to "Guernica" and then realising where Guernica was coming from, see how The Eternal Present also suggests shapes and forms from Gleeson's "Galaxy", Dali's "Daddy Longlegs of the evening - hope!", Dix's "Skat Players" which appears to be the painting that formed the basis of the structure of Lam's work, and perhaps the bite into the fruit from Galaxy has become the buttocks of the left female body.

See also: Wifredo Lam's The Eternal Present (An Homage to Alejandro García Caturla) (1944)

m) Dorothea Tanning's Avatar (1947)
Dorothea Tanning's Avatar shows a painting with a room, a central light hanging on the ceiling and a devil figure.

Perhaps this too is part of the "Treasures of Satan" descendants and also takes note of Guernica's central light and the diagonal lines present in the painting, although nothing has been said about the paintings that this might reference.

It appears that the thing which inspired the painting the most were flying dreams in relation to it.


n) Leonora Carrington's "And then we saw the daughter of the Minotaur, (1953)
Looks fairly inspired by Wifedo Lam's Eternal Present, with the central seated figure with a heavily abstracted head that looks almost like a miniature shrine.

Wifredo's left woman has small horns and so there is a minotaur seated on the left here .  

The right figure in Wifredo's work could almost be the full body with legs of a small woman merged with the upper torso of the full form of a large woman, the small woman's hips become the large woman's shoulder and so perhaps the small woman has been separated and the staff that she holds turns into a corridor in Carrington's painting where the woman with her featureless face is seen to dance.

In André Masson's "Dans la tour du sommeil", on the right, the pillar of the harp has plant like tendrils wrapped around it, and on the far left in Carrington's painting, a pillar has a creeping plant wrappd around it in a similar way

Meanwhile Gleeson's Galaxy provided a red fruit with white horns that might have become the colour scheme for this minotaur.

Leonora Carrington's "And then we saw the daughter of the Minotaur, (1953)

o) See also Delvilles Treasures of Satan and Descendants part 2 (1970s +)
Giger's Alien Monster IV (1978)

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