19th century France was renowned for its preoccupation with Satanism and death, and these Diableries were a foremost populist expression of this dark undercurrent. The first major, and most famous, series of Diableries was published by Adolph Block in 1868; this series, sub-titled "A Trip To The Underworld”, ran to 72 images, each depicting a view of Hell. Each scenario, usually featuring Satan and a host of skeletons, lesser demons and other weird creatures, was hand-sculpted in clay before being photographed. The two main sculptors who worked on the series were Louis Alfred Habert and Pierre Adolph Hennetier. Habert and Hennetier's inspired model-work now stands as a body of incredible Satanic art in its own right, alongside the "Sataniques" paintings of Felicien Rops in the pantheon of diabolic masterpieces. "Diableries: A Trip To The Underworld" is a long-overdue celebration of this art.
The 72 images are first shown in their entirety with titling in French and English, and then investigated in detailed close-ups, presenting this dioramic display of the Devil in all its Satanic glory.