Rops, Felicien - The Sacrifice
Type of Spiritual Experience
In Felicien Rops’ drawing ‘The Sacrifice’ we see the tunnel/snake leading from a largely sexless moon figure of somewhat frightening aspect – faceless but with two horns, there are cherubs in the sky – but dark cherubs with the heads of skulls.
We can interpret this two ways. The simplest way would be to say this figure is in essence death – it is not impregnating the woman but taking her soul from her back to the empty moon – hence the name of the picture - sacrifice.
But the more complex way is to think that it may signify birth - the soul being delivered to the baby of a woman giving birth, which is why the placenta is shown at the base of the picture. The sacrifice is to become physical.
The altar, being rectangular symbolises earth.
A description of the experience