Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910)
The Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia
Faust or Faustus (Latin for "auspicious" or "lucky") is the protagonist of a classic German legend who makes a pact with the Devil in ex for knowledge. Faust's tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works, such as those by Christopher Marlowe, Goethe, Mikhail Bulgakov, Thomas Mann, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Washington Irving, Charles Gounod, Randy Newman, Jon Foreman, Gustav Mahler, Terry Pratchett, and Oscar Wilde. The meaning of the word and name has been reinterpreted through the ages. "Faust" (and the adjective "Faustian") has taken on a connotation distinct from its original use, and is often used today to describe a person whose headstrong desire for self-fulfillment leads him or her in a diabolical direction.