The Genius of Evil
The focal point of this photo is Le Génie du Mal and it’s breathtaking in all the best ways.
It is located within the elaborate pulpit of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Liège, and depicts a classically beautiful man in his physical prime, chained, seated, and nearly nude but for drapery gathered over his thighs, his full length ensconced within a mandorla of bat wings. Guillaume Geefs’ work replaces an earlier sculpture created for the space by his younger brother Joseph Geefs, which was removed from the cathedral because of its distracting allure and “unhealthy beauty.”
The cathedral administration declared that “this devil is too sublime.” The local press intimated that the work was distracting the “pretty penitent girls” who should have been listening to the sermons.