The appeal of Satanism in art....?

The Satanic has always motivated artists.

Aubrey Beardsley was called the "Fra Angelico of Satanism", and his art has a decadent, satirical feel that may deserve the description of Satanic. Likewise the art of Beresford Egan and Alistair.

The great, Satanic novel of the late 19th century was J.K. Huysman's "Au Rebours". Aleister Crowley was an amateur artist, and revelled in Satanic themes. He also chose Lady Frieda Harris to provide Satanic-inspired illustrations to his Thoth Tarot deck.

As much as Christianity has inspired art, it would appear that Satanism also has its inspirational power. What do you think the reason for this is? Is it true religious impulse, or the desire to provide a shock to the sensibilities?

15 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Its about playing up on the darker side of things, the appeal is that it is often considered taboo by society which has been for years dominated by Christianity. Satanism embraces that which Christianity rejects, revels and indulges in it.

  • 1 decade ago

    You forgot to mention Francis Bacon and his infamous Pope paintings!

    All art is inspired by the divine, be it good or bad in content. What is important with art is that it provokes an emotional reaction, for better or worse. No reaction, and it's not art, merely a drawing or a sketch - this is what separates a master from a wannabe.

    Freda Harris worked to Crowley's instructions, and he was not an easy man to please; some of the drawings were done multiple times. She was not aware of the significance of all the content, she simply acted as the artist. The fact that her art provokes a reaction makes it just that - art.

    So the artist, under the influence of the divine, paints what they see, often from their unconscious, not knowing from whence it came. If divine inspiration generates images that people don't like, it doesn't make it wrong. Similarly, satanism must not be confused with censorship. Just because someone says that an image is from satan doesn't make it true.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No. Most people hate to live in "reality" and one way or the other, BELIEF seems to give people what they desire the most. The "illusion" they themselves are important to deities with supernatural powers and thus like the delusion that maybe, just maybe, they too possess such unearthly advantages over others.

    Being a faithful one of the ancient faith of Egypt I do object when someone takes after the hebrew biblical opinion that the deities of Egypt were "evil." As such this Thoth Tarot deck.

    There have been many influences upon belief in the devil and "what" he looks like. The Ram for instance on the pentagram comes from the ancient faith I am part of but never HAD a connection in ancient time to the devil but to the holy Lord of Creation. Between 2500 and 3500 b.c. he was deplicted as a goose, a ram, and sometime as part animal and part human. All imaginary, but deplictions none the less. Mankind whether they believe in religions or as witches or warlocks to serve the devil all are about as FAKE as they come for of all of them they seek SYMBOLISM to instill fear upon the masses, one is no better than the other. I have served the devil, and having earned status as a servant by BLOOD sacrifice, became a demon on earth. Now I am a free man by doing the Lord's will by "choice." Of the "two" Lords, I can only say that I am where I belong as I don't have to submit to an entity that is only out to satisfy itself. The "art" you see of Satan is but what MANKIND dreams up, just the same as they do with religious icons......

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Satan works within the Liberal Christian Churches ,destroying the belief in the literal interpretations of the Bible.Satanism is a diversionary tactic to make one think that's where Satan would be.Meanwhile ,he has practically ruined the Catholic Church,the Presbyterian,United Methodist , help spring up the Unitarians,the LDS,the Jehovah's Witnesses.Has wrecked the 7th Day Aventists.Hey,that's my opinion and I stand by it. Meanwhile ,people see harmless Ozzie Osbourne and go "OOH! A devil man!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not religious, I don't believe in Satan or God. I can say that the concepts of either have inspired many artists though. Either would be quite interesting to inspire my art-- plenty of majesty and flow with both.

    I think it's just that something like that entices an artist and is a challenge to paint or draw. My stuff is simply inspired by my own belief and the things that I've seen in my life. Also, when one artist has a good painting with a theme, others tend to follow.

  • To me, it's demonstrative of the sway satanism has over the author/artist. Many artists create religious paintings due to their love of religion and God and their desire to illustrate that. The love or joy often shows in their paintings.

    The same, I'm sure, would be true of the satanist or person interested in that area. The painting or book is a snapshot of a piece of their hearts.

  • I am partially Satanist. For me, it is a matter of the fact that it simply complies with my values; when I was attempting to "find" a religion, I didn't *need* to find BELIEFS; I already HAD beliefs. What I *needed* was to determine the category under which my beliefs fell.

    However, artistically, it becomes a bit more difficult to analyze. I feel it is not so much the subject, but the artist--the way in which he or she brings out the topic in the piece; how they portray it, and how they help it to captivate all that experience it.

    Source(s): This kinda - off - base, but attempting - to - fit - ideas - together answer has been brought to you by Me, And Only Me.
  • 1 decade ago

    dark things move people, whether they will admit it or not. Those who won't are closed to themselves and usually christians. Those who will are open and free and happier. Being in touch with ones "dark side" only affirms our true selves and humanity, which is animal after all, though a high thinking one ... sometimes. That it is sometimes called satanic to be so stirred and/or connected is simply proof of the programed way so many lead their lives. it is NOT for shock and awe, it is serious, deep, true, real, honest, sincere, the feeling/meaning it wishes to convey.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Remember that religion is a metaphor for human experience. The more deeply rooted the experience, the more powerful the metaphor. God and Satan are the extremes, pleasure and pain, Delight and despair, truth and lies, fecund and fallow. I am of the thinking that each human holds the potential for each extreme - and these pull at us - we want to publicly explore our "Godliness" yet all the while we sense our shadow.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it is true of human nature to reflect art as they see life. The artist is the maker of the art and the art is a reflection of the times, emotions, ect. religion about it.

    Well, maybe religion is a part of it in the sense that it reflects the feelings and beliefs of the artist. I'm not sure......I would have to think about this more

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