Goethe’s Faust was first published in Germany in 1808 but soon became a European phenomenon. That Delacroix would have been drawn to the work and its moral complexity is no surprise; he produced a series of illustrations that appeared in an 1828 French edition of the play. While his designs were under way, he received Goethe’s approbation: “The French censure him for his wildness, but it suits him well here. . . . I must confess that M. Delacroix has, in some scenes, surpassed my own notions.”
Thaw Catalogue Raisonné, 2017, no. 93, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 70.