The Demon, Marchosias



Pen and ink, watercolor on watercolor paper. 2013.

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.

The Thirty-fifth Spirit of the Ars Goetia is Marchosias. He is a Great and Mighty Marquis of Hell, appearing at first in the Form of a Wolf having Gryphon’s Wings, and a Serpent’s Tail, and Vomiting Fire out of his mouth. But after a time, at the command of the Exorcist he putteth on the Shape of a Man and he is a strong fighter.