Lilith (John Collier)

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Lilith, 1892.

Lilith is an oil painting in the Pre-Raphaelite style by John Collier, finished in 1892. The painting depicts the Hebrew apocryphal demon woman, Lilith, nude, and entwined by the Serpent from the Book of Genesis. Lilith appears to be deriving pleasure from the evil creature which she allows to be wrapped around her hips, buttocks, and neck, which is fitting since Hebrew mythology describes her as a lustful perverted sexual deviant. To add to the sexual nature of the painting, the Serpent's tongue can be seen flitting onto Lilith's breast.


Like most people, I'm first struck by the overt sexual nature of this painting, as it depicts not only an attractive nude woman's body, but also a depiction of bestiality. However, the painting is also technically impressive with the amount of detail on the skin and reflection of the Serpent's body as well as Lilith's long full red hair.