Starting in the late sixteenth century, the myth of Faust - the man who sold his soul to the devil -had become deeply rooted in the German psyche and had spread throughout all of Europe.
In 1825, Delacroix was profoundly affected by a play of Faust that he was able to attend in London. This same year, the first French translation of Faust by Goethe (1749-1832), first published in Tübinger in 1806, came out. It was by Albert Stapfer (1802-1892) and was the last of four volumes published under the general title Traduction des œuvres dramatiques de J. W. Goethe. Two years later, Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855) worked on the translation of Goethe’s Faust. The publisher Charles Motte commissioned this series of lithographs.