Erotic Media Throughout History: Sinful Statues

Erotic Media Throughout History sinful statues

While statues are now found mostly in museums and art galleries, sculpture has played an important role in artistic history. Ancient Greek or Roman gods and goddesses probably come to mind but statues are popular in many cultures. Despite its traditionally conservative beliefs, the Catholic church incidentally commissioned not one but two stunning statues of the devil. Their reason for the second one? The first was “too sublime” and would distract churchgoers. 


Whether he goes by the devil, satan or Lucifer, the majority of Christian faiths agree that he was quite the looker. Described as ‘the fallen angel,’ the devil’s good looks were part of his devious charm. He represented the ultimate sinful indulgence; cunning, manipulative and, well, hot as hell!

Rock Hard

St. Paul’s Cathedral in Belgium first commissioned Joseph Geefs in 1837 to create a statue depicting a downtrodden Lucifer having lost to the goodness of the church. Upon receiving the statue, the church declared that “this devil is too sublime.” With his near-complete nudity, boyish handsomeness and lean abs, it violated the sanctity of their space. Fearing it would distract young women from their religious obligations, the church deemed it unacceptable for display. They soon sought a replacement from Joseph’s older brother, Guillaume.

Chiselled, Literally

While no one can attest to Guillaume’s intentions at the time, his response to the commission gives many historians a chuckle. The statue he produced in 1848 to replace his brothers is widely considered far more “sublime” than the original. With his roguishly handsome face, thick hair and yes, literally chiselled abs, Guillaume’s Lucifer wouldn’t look out of place in a Sexy Sinners Calander. 

The Irony

By removing the seductive stone statue, the church inadvertently conceded that their words were no match for a good-looking marble man. Despite the church’s goal to minimise distraction, they reinforced the power of physical attractiveness as a sinful temptation.

While these two charming sinners may not have altered the course of history, they are still phenomenal works of art that tell a story. The original statue by Joseph now resides with the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Guillaume’s rendition has remained at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The (not so) subtle sexuality that underpins both pieces speaks volumes about the pertinence of attraction in art, religion and life. Overall, however, we are just grateful the church gave us two drool-worthy devils to think about next time we’re feeling naughty.