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Pauvre crâne vide, que me veux-tu dire avec ton grincement hideux ?

You empty skull, why bare your teeth at me?

Artist: Eugène Delacroix (1798 - 1863) Primary
Artist: Goyer & Hermet Printer
Date: 1828
19th century
Dimensions: 9.57 x 6.93 in. (24.3 x 17.6 cm)
Dimensions Extent: image
Object Type: Print
Creation Place: Europe, France
Medium and Support: Lithograph on paper
Credit Line: Gift of James Reed, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.35.100
Not on view.

At the urging of the printer Charles Motte, Delacroix created a suite of eighteen lithographs to illustrate a French translation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s tragic play Faust. In this print, the second in the series, Faust contemplates a skull in his study just before he first encounters the demon Mephistopheles. While the project delighted Goethe, it was a commercial failure in France. Delacroix was criticized for the poor anatomical rendering of his figures and their often exaggerated expressions and poses.

At bottom left, the inscription reads: "Delacroix inv[eni]t et Lithog[raphie]." Bottom right reads: "Lith. Goyer et Hermet, 7, pas. Dauphine."




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