on ne s'en rend pas tres bien compte." Delacroix responded, "j'ai voulu peindre I'eclair d'une epee." (39) This effect of an object without its referent initially shocks Hugo: "or, peindre 1'eclair d'une epee sans l'epee, ce n'etait plus de son art, mais du notre!" (40) He then recalls a painting in the Saint-Etienne du Mont church in Paris, which he believes to be by Albrecht Durer, called Decollation
de saint Jean-Baptiste.
In Discoverie of Witchcraft (the first book to betray the juggler's secrets), Reginald Scot offers a detailed explanation of the art of decollation
, including an illustration of the contraption needed to decapitate a man and serve his head on a platter.