Skip to main content

Faust and Marguerite

Hendrik Jan August Leys (Belgian, 1815–1869)

This painting shows a moment in Goethe's dramatic poem Faust.

Faust stands with the demonic Mephistopheles behind an iron screen, and he first spies the chaste Marguerite emerging from a church. Faust demands that Mephistopheles secure Marguerite's love for him. Leys has followed Goethe's description in his depiction of Marguerite as a young woman of modest or lower social standing with red lips, glowing cheeks, and downcast eyes.

Like many nineteenth-century artists, Leys was interested in the Middle Ages. Here he dresses the characters in medieval costume and sets the scene at a medieval cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium.

Object Details

We are always open to learning more about our collections and updating the website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.