Des fleurs tombent, et la tête d'un python paraît
(Flowers fall and the head of a python appears)
Plate 5 of 24
A deep, velvety blackness occupies the majority of the print. The album format meant that Redon had the scope to experiment and produce unusual and obscure compositions in which the subject is only discernible with the aid of the caption quoting from the novel. The head can then be seen to rise up into the dense black from its coiled body and the flowers at the bottom. Here the caption is taken from a brief part of the story, when the Devil, in the guise of Hilarion, Saint Anthony's former pupil, leads him into a cavern with the Ophites. The ancient and mystical Ophite sect believed that Sophia animated man with a ray of light and sent the genie-serpent Ophis to give him knowledge of heavenly things.