Aesthetics

Modernity as the Devil

“In later centuries, depictions of Satan in art evolved from a wretched beast to a more human figure. “By the 18th century, he’s ennobled, almost looking like an Apollo,” Barryte says—as seen in Thomas Stothard’s “Satan Summoning His Legions,” from 1790. That was due to the aftermath of the French and American revolutions, which tried to excise the more superstitious elements of religion. “People interpreted the figure less as demonic creature and more as heroic rebel against the oppression of the paternal god,”