The Demon, Asmodeus




Acrylic on wood panel. 2014.

The Thirty-Second Spirit is Asmodeus, or Asmoday. He is a Great King, Strong, and Powerful. He appeareth with three heads, whereof the first is like a Bull, the second like a Man and the Third like a Ram. He sitteth upon an Infernal Dragon, and beareth in his hand a Lance with a Banner. He giveth the Ring of Virtues, the teacheth the Arts of Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geometry and all handicrafts absolutely. He giveth true and full answers unto thy demands. He maketh one invincible. He showeth the place there Treasures lie and guardeth it.

A Bestiary is a type of illuminated manuscript that details various animals from across the globe, often accompanied with stories that acts as a moral or religious guide. Before modern man’s agencies of travel, these books were some of the only glimpses people had at fauna from outside of their region. It was actually common for the illustrations to be wildly inaccurate, as well, for not all artists had actually witnessed the creatures they drew.
To give this project my own spin, I wanted to turn the concept around by focusing my Bestiary on demonology. Capable of speech and reasoning, but inhabiting a variety of chimera bodies, demons reside in an inbetween space between man and beast. They may not act as very fulfilling moral compasses, but one could fill pages and pages with their strange shapes and forms. The source of the specific mythos I based these demons on was taken from the Ars Goetia.