This small poster has always been one of my personal favorites and has hung in Leslie and my bathroom for over thirty years. I love the strong orange cast shadow on Pan's head and shoulder as a counterpoint to the dull olive green.
In Greek mythology Pan was the son of Hermes and Penelope.
It is a symbolist work. My interpretation of it is that the wildman Pan figure is looking at an opium poppy flower, which has been cultivated, with some measure of bemusement. Man confronting his animal nature and passions. Opiates were in vogue in the latter half of the nineteenth century but their effects were double edged and bittersweet, to say the least.
While people of the time like Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens and Florence Nightingale who took opium appreciated the dreamy vision granted by the narcotic, people's addictions were indeed swift and severe.
Look at the ghastly ogre like faces in the flower petals. Definitely a foreboding warning of its perils.
I was thinking of this slightly horned figure the other day. The Feuilleton website shared an image of it.