Since the beginning of early Christian art, devil painting (and angel painting) have been part of the art scene. In addition, depictions of Lucifer and hell have appeared in paintings and have been popular subjects for Byzantine and European paintings over centuries. Therefore, paintings with these themes are also called Satan paintings or Lucifer paintings.
During the Italian Renaissance, demon paintings with the Devil, other demons, and hell as themes became famous again. The painting of these subjects has continued into the Romantic Period. Many modern artists still use the themes from time to time and create devil paintings.
If you’ve never considered buying a painting with demons or hell as a theme, look at the few paintings we discuss in this article, and perhaps you are enticed to get one of the demon paintings or a similar painting. Unfortunately, as all the paintings we discuss are part of the museum and private selections, you’ll have to purchase a legal sound reproduction to put in your home.
Satan Exulting over Eve by William Blake
This painting depicts Lucifer at the beginning of its existence from a Biblical view. In this well-known Lucifer painting “Satan Exulting over Eve” by William Blake, Satan hovers in glory over Eve. The scene is placed in the Garden of Eden, and The serpent entwines eve. Most art academics agree that Blake’s paintings and drawings of the Devil reflect his visions.
For this painting, Blake used his three-step process. In step 1, he drew the image with thick, sticky watercolors on a piece of stiff paper board. The second step was to stamp the sticky image on paper, and step 3 was to work over the resulting print in watercolor washes and pen and ink.
William Blake (1757-1827) and was an English printmaker, poet, and painter. He is nowadays considered an important figure in the history of the visual arts of the Romantic Age, although he was unrecognized during his lifetime. According to some modern art critics, his devil artworks, including his demon paintings, have made him one of the most famous artists Britain has ever produced.
Saint Augustine and the Devil by Michael Pacher
The German artist, Michael Pacher, lived and worked during the 15th century. He tried to incorporate Renaissance art styles and practices into his paintings. He is known for his artworks of various devils, demons, and religious figures.
The painting “Saint Augustine and the Devil” was completed in 1475. This iconic devil painting features St Augustine staring down Satan as the evil leader of hell. The Devil’s demons are holding up a book that Satan wants St Augustine to write his name in.
Satan is depicted as very twisted with a monstrous appearance in this painting. Other artists before Pacher had never depicted Lucifer so deformed and grotesque.
St. Michael Overwhelming the Demon by Raphael
This Raphael painting, “St. Michael Overwhelming the Demon,” is also known as “St. Michael Vanquishing Satan” and “St Michael and the Devil.”
It is one of the most known Renaissance devil art paintings showing demons. Raphael completed it in 1518 after Pope Leo X had asked him to revisit the story of St. Michael defeating a demon. The painting shows Satan thrown down and on the ground with a triumphant St. Michael on top of the devil.
This painting was painted as a large-scale and more mature version of a miniature he had created in his youth. The model was just called “St Michael.” Both works are currently located in the Louvre in Paris.
The miniature was completed in 1504 or 1505 on the back of a draught board, possibly to express appreciation to Louis XII of France for conferring the Order of Saint Michael on Francesco Maria I Della Rovere. More than a decade after completing the miniature, Raphael was commissioned to revisit the theme.
Hell by Hieronymus Bosch
“Hell” by the Dutch painter, Hieronymus Bosch, is one of the oldest and most famous paintings that was focused on the subject of hell. This 1490 painting is one that was part of a four-painting series.
In two of the paintings in the series, Bosch depicted man’s ascension into heaven. In the other two works, of which “Hell” is one, he detailed man’s descent into hell.
Bosch’s vision of hell was committed to the canvas in the late 1400s. It has come to be known by scholars and art lovers as the most famous scene of the underworld in Western art. Unlike the works of his contemporaries like Botticelli and Hans Memling, Bosch’s hell has become ingrained not only in modern pop culture but also in the broader Western conception of hell as a place of torture and never-ending suffering.
Dulle Griet by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
This painting, “Dulle Griet” (also known as “Mad Meg”) by the Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, is one of the unique paintings ever done on the subject of hell.
In the painting that was created in 1563, he depicted a pretty different concept of hell as it featured a rogue woman leading a band of female warriors into the depths of hell. They fought and conquered hell.
However, this Flemish concept of a woman warrior hero was nothing new at that time. Historians and art lovers refer to these women warriors as “viragos.” The work itself depicts the vast expanse of hell as a set of hills with a reddish-black colored sky. The one woman, who is recognized as Mad Meg, is seen running through the underworld with a sword in one hand and a sack of pillaged goods.
The Bottom Line
Paintings of hell, Lucifer, and other demons from hell have been produced for centuries, and they are still used as themes for artworks. Although the Renaissance artists actively used these demon themes in their works, it has continued through all the different art periods. Many demon-related paintings are famous artworks and are sought after by art collectors.