Diableries: A Trip to the Underworld: 19th Century Images of Satan and Hell
Perhaps the most fascinating, provocative and intricately modelled of all images created during the 19th century craze for stereoscopic photography remain those created in Paris from around 1860 onwards, and now known as Diableries (or "devilries"). 19th century France was renowned for its preoccupation with Satanism and death, and these Diableries were a foremost populist expression of this dark undercurrent. The first major, and most famous, series of Diableries was published by Adolph Block in 1868; this series, sub-titled "A Trip To The Underworld," ran to 72 images, each depicting a view of Hell. Each scenario, usually featuring Satan and a host of skeletons, lesser demons and other weird creatures, was hand-sculpted in clay before being photographed. The two main sculptors who worked on the series were Louis Alfred Habert and Pierre Adolph Hennetier. Habert and Hennetier's inspired model-work now stands as a body of incredible Satanic art in its own right, alongside the "Sataniques" paintings of Felicien Rops in the pantheon of diabolic masterpieces. "Diableries: A Trip To The Underworld" is a long-overdue celebration of this art. The 72 images are first shown in their entirety with titling in French and English, and then investigated in detailed close-ups, presenting this dioramic display of the Devil in all its Satanic glory.