The demons of Félicien Rops

Self portrait of Félicien RopsFélicien Rops was a graphic artist who spent most of his life in Paris, although he was born in Belgium where he had attended the Namur Académie. In 1856 he founded the satirical weekly ‘Uylenspiegel’. He engraved and illustrated the works of the great such as Baudelaire and Barbey d’Aurevilly.

Devils, skeletons, prostitutes, and death are the main accessories of his art. However scandalous his works were considered to be in his time, today we cannot close our eyes for the strong Catholic symbolism that now seems a rather harmless protest to his strict religious upbringing.

Beaudelaire was a great admirer of Rops and it was in his company that, in 1866, while visiting a church, he suffered a paralyzing attack from which he would never recover.


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