Sulphuric Rasputin


Grigori Rasputin is one of the most intriguing characters of the 20th century. Some considered him as a madman and a swindler; others as a holy man, a prophet. But he was, first and foremost, a very enigmatic figure – that arousescountless stories and legends about him.

It is known his dedication to the religion, some people believes that he had a vision of the Virgin Mary, encouraging him to a spiritual life. Rasputin was a charismatic man and his reputation spread very quickly in Siberia and consequently in the rest of Russia. That expansion allowed him to create bonds with powerful people and soon he became very close to the czar and the royal family, working as a healer for the Czar’s son, Alexei.
Alexei suffered from hemophilia and everybody believed in the healing powers of Rasputin, easing the pain and stopping the bleeding.

With so huge popularity in Imperial Russia, he turned into a very controversial figure in both political and religious fields. There are many stories relating him to alternative spiritual movements, occult practices and supernatural curiosity. He was also known to practice and promote sexual promiscuity, including orgy- “(…)a ritual which sought to overcome human sexual urges by engaging in group sexual activities so that, in consciously sinning together, the sin’s power over the human was nullified”.

Prophet Ezekiel, Russian icon from first quarter of 18th century.

The power and influence over the royal family scared both nobility and clergy. In 1916 a group of nobles planned to kill him. But Rasputin was hard to kill, he was shot four times to fell on the ground. The murderers wrapped him in a carpet, and tossed him into the icy waters of the River Neva. It was later claimed that he managed to break free of his bonds inside the rolled up carpet, but was not strong enough to fend off death by drowning.

Our version of Rasputin shows his triumph over death. He rose as a dragon, vicious and ruthless with the aim of spreading the darkness and pain over his enemies and the traitors of the motherland. 

He is dressed as an Emperor, holding the two-headed eagle on his belly, from the coat of arms of Russia. His three hands help him to sustain the snake that brings back the temptation and disgrace to the Earth. His dragon wings grant him the ability to spread the poison and fire from the higher skies. 

At his feet, we see a burning church, purifying by fire all the false religions, offering the truth. 

The halo on his head define him as a morning star, as the rooster sings. The rooster sang, as well, to announce the birth of the Messiah. And as the messiah, Rasputin is followed by a shining star around his head, a light for a new Eden. 

The tentacles behind him are also embracing the world, symbol of his ignoble proposes-they are the result of his uncontrollable anger and desire of punishment.

From his mouth we read “скрытый”, Occult, Hidden- which are his true intentions. At the bottom, left, is written “Я дракон”-I am the Dragon; and at the right “Распу́тин”- Rasputin.

“Geryon” from Divine Comedy- Inferno CANTO V. Engraving by Gustave Doré, 1855.
Rasputin with Russian military officials. photographed by Karl Bulla, between 1907 and 1908.
Back to Top