The Devil and Mr Twardowsky: study for an illustration for 'The Tale of Pan Twardowsky' (a variation of 'Faust') (c.1887-1888)

This charcoal drawing was produced in Mucha’s early days in Paris.

Depicting a scene from the Polish legend of Pan Twardowsky, a sorcerer who entered into a pact with the devil, the drawing is believed to be a study for an illustration. Another charcoal drawing based on the theme of Faust is also known from this period. Both works are executed in the same style, with a stage-like setting, an eloquent and academic approach to figure drawing, and a subtle rendering of facial expression. These characteristics anticipate Mucha's highly successful series of illustrations for Scènes et Épisodes de l'Histoire de l'Allemagne by Charles Seignobos, commissioned by Armand Colin in 1892.