The story of Faust, who gives up his soul to the Devil in exchange for anything he wants during his time on earth, has long exerted a fascination over writers, dramatists, composers, and visual artists. Probably the most influential version is the play by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832), a tragedy written in two parts. Schaefels’s painting depicts the first meeting of Faust, newly transformed into a young man, and an innocent young girl to whom he is attracted, Margaret (also known as Gretchen). Margaret has just come from confession, and when Faust offers to escort her, she rebuffs him. Faust then demands that the Devil (Mephistopheles) arrange for him to be with her that night. Schaefels’ painting, a charming image of flirtation against the backdrop of a Flemish townscape, gives little hint of the horror that will follow this seemingly harmless early moment in the story. Margaret’s mother will die from a sleeping potion administered by Faust; Margaret herself will have a baby, be accused of its murder, and die in prison awaiting God’s punishment.