This article accompanies the fable
Vrubel's paintings are dark, possessed, hallucinations and this was his most famous one. We live in a fallen world, a world for pessimists.
Art fans are drawn to the innovative use of color and the iridescent sheen, as a precursor of the Expressionists. This painting made Vrubel famous and it's difficult not to see something autobiographical here in his fascination with demons and possession. A decade later, in a life marked by tragedy, he began his slide into a nervous breakdown and near blindness.