Thursday, March 13th, 2014...11:08 am

A Practice in Torture

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This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Santo Domingo collection.

Sometimes you come across something so gruesome that even though you want to look away, you can’t.  Le Musée des Supplices certainly fits that description.  A book that gives the history of torture written by Roland Villeneuve, a French parapsychologist interested in demonology and the esoteric, Le Musée des Supplices, is split into sections including ones on executioners and their instruments as well as torture in film and literature.  Some of the illustrations are in vivid color and depict such torture tactics as crucifixion and the flaying of skin.

Villeneuve includes both the torturing of humans as well as fighting and killing demons such as vampires in this book.








He also discusses death and resurrection as well as torture in religious practices such as self-mutilation.   This book is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Although many of the illustrations are violent and graphic, there are some which depict torture in a symbolic way, such as L’extase de Sainte Theres d’Avila by Bernini.

More works by Villeneuve such as Dictionnaire du diable which can be found at Widener Library and Histoire du cannibalisme at Tozzer Library.



Le Musée des supplices / Roland Villeneuve, Paris : Éditions Azur : C. Offenstadt, 1968.  HV8593 .V56 1968  can be found at Widener Library.


Thanks to Emma Clement, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

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