The ascent of Muhammad to heaven (mi’rāj) – Sulṭān Muḥammad

Brilliant Champions Gallery

CANTICLE: Description of Pan & Hermaphrodites

In this collection of new works, artist Peter Depelchin draws from his expansive personal library of art history, inspired by the of several Roman and Greek classical sculptures which portray Salmacis & Hermaphrodites from the in the Greek mythology of Metamorphoses, and a old hellenistic quote which in one sentence refers to the encounter of Pan and Hermaphrodites. [more]

The formation of the works began after viewing the marble sculpture “Satyr Struggling with a Hermaphrodite” during his residency in New York City. Depelchin became intrigued by the story of Hermaphroditus. The offspring of two Olympians, Hermaphroditus is rarely mentioned in literature, however is well-represented by statues. Hermaphroditus, is often portrayed in Greco-Roman art as a female figure with male genitals and depicts scenes complex gender roles.


Pablo Picasso “Scene Bachique au Minotaure” c. 1933 etching Sultan Muhammad “The Ascent of Muhammad to Heaven” c. 1539-43 opaque watercolor and ink on paper


Finally in the fourth image we can see Pan transformed in a huge minotaur. Still there is some gentleness in his eyes as he knows now that Hermaphrodites has submitted: his dominance is complete. The bull head paying homage to Pablo Picasso’s ‘Vollard Suite’ where he exploits the Minotauromachy, is a theme that often seen throughout Depelchin’s work. Pay attention to the flames the minotaur’s hands, they are the written dutch word ‘vlammen’ in the original collage (translated as flame or fire in english), but changed into a mystical Persian scripture in the drawing. Depelchin is fascinated by Eastern and Iranian miniatures. The motive of a flame being held in the hand or as an aura around a figure is very common in these old medieval paintings on paper.