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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

After Ary Scheffer (1795-1858)

'Faust au Sabbat' 1860

Albumen print? | RCIN 2865047

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A photograph of a work by Ary Scheffer first created in the 1840s. A 1846 version of it is now in the collection of the Musée de la Vie romantique (inv. no. 92.2). The image depicts a full-length portrait of Faust seated, flanked by two figures. He faces to the right towards Gretchen (or Marguerite), who is standing on a rock, party covered in drappery and holding her baby. Mephistopheles is seen to the left, whispering in Faust's ear. The painting was inspired by the scene from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust in which Mephistopheles takes the protagonist to a witches' sabbath on Walpurgis Night, where he encounters an apparition of Gretchen with their dead child.

Ary Scheffer (and his studio) continued throughout his life to produce new works of old compositions on demand. His paintings were also widely reproduced as etchings.

  • Creator(s)

    After Ary Scheffer (1795-1858) (artist)

    Robert Jefferson Bingham (1825-70) (photographer)

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs