Ricardo Bellver’s El Ángel Caido


This Luciferian statue by Spanish sculptor Ricardo Bellver (1845–1924) was drawn to my attention in the comments a while back and I thought it about time it had a post of its own. Statues of Satan/Lucifer or fallen angels are usually depicted at the mercy of Saint Michael’s feet and sword, it’s unusual to see such a work where the forces of Heaven are implied rather than shown. It’s even more unusual to have such a figure on display in a public park, as Bellver’s is.

The sculpture … of great dramatism and originality, obtained the First Medal at the Spanish National Fine Arts Exhibition in 1878, and the same year was cast in bronze for the third Paris World’s Fair. Later on, the Prado Museum donated it to the City of Madrid, and in 1885 it was installed in a square with the same name in the Retiro Park (the largest one in Madrid).

The writhing serpents are probably a nod to the Laocoön and manage to impose modesty as well as evoke an erotic frisson, a familiar ambiguity as I’ve noted before. Wikimedia Commons has a lot more photos while Flickr has even more here and here.


Previously on { feuilleton }
Melancholy Lucifers
Angelo Colarossi and son
Dark Angel
Men with snakes
Angels 4: Fallen angels

One thought on “Ricardo Bellver’s El Ángel Caido”

  1. I think Madrid is the only city with a sculpture dedicated to Satan. On the other hand I believe Barcelona has the largest concentration of phallic buildings or monuments, The Sagrada Familia or Agbar Tower for example .

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