Far from a sanctimonious foil, ‘Satan’s Treasures’ mixes eroticism and Satanism in a work loaded with ambiguity. Catholics were shocked by this work, seeing it as a blasphemous representation of a delinquent idealism.
The crowd of lascivious bodies giving themselves up to the voluptuous whip of an affected Satan shows a suspended universe, far from the traditional visions of Hell.
The artist found his inspiration in an esoteric text from Jules Bois - ‘Symbolism in Satan’s Wedding’ published in ‘The Veil of Isis’ in 1892 – and turned the fallen angel into the subject of a fundamental experiment: the absolute knowledge of evil alone allowing access to the truth. Delville associates the principle to the now classical theme of temptation and fall from grace. (from Michel Draguet, in 'Le Symbolisme en Belgique', Brussels, RMFAB, 2010, p. 290)
English Translation by Marianne Reynolds (2010)