{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.

Archive for March, 2008


The Palais Lumineux


A final visit to the Exposition Universelle of 1900 with this photograph of the Palais Lumineux, a piece of period Chinoiserie built in the Champ de Mars close to the Eiffel Tower. I forget where I found this tinted view but Wikipedia has what appears to be the same photograph coloured so as to resemble […]

Posted in {architecture}, {cities}, {photography} | 4 comments »


Louis Bonnier’s exposition dreams


Globe terrestre. More exposition mania. The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 would have been more grand/fabulous/excessive (delete as appropriate) if architect Louis Bonnier had been given free reign. The building above was intended to stand before the Palais du Trocadéro and house a huge globe which visitors could peruse from surrounding galleries. Bonnier also designed […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {cities}, {design} | 1 comment »


Exposition Universelle, 1900


La porte monumentale. Was the Paris Exposition of 1900 the most gloriously excessive of them all? Judging by these photos it certainly looks it. I should have linked to these earlier when I had a post about the Palais du Trocadéro which was one of the buildings raised for the occasion. The Eiffel Tower was […]

Posted in {architecture}, {cities}, {photography} | 9 comments »


Not The Yellow Brick Road

Not The Yellow Brick Road | Lord Horror (and one of my covers) at The Huffington Post.

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The recurrent pose 15


It’s that pose again. Well, almost…I imagine that rock was a bit of a rough surface to sit on. Photo from this MySpace page. Thanks Thom! Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The recurrent pose archive

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Arthur Machen book covers


The House of Souls (1923).  Well, a handful anyway. The late RT Gault put a page of Machen cover scans on his book site which also included the excellent Absolute Elsewhere catalogue of “Fantastic, Visionary, and Esoteric Literature in the 1960s and 1970s”. The cover for The House of Souls is a very odd piece […]

Posted in {art}, {beardsley}, {books}, {dance}, {horror}, {illustrators} | 6 comments »


A postcard from Doctor Kafka


From the German National Library, a postcard dated 1918 from Franz Kafka to his publisher, Kurt Wolff. These are press images so the links are to big scans. Previously on { feuilleton } • Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker • Hugo Steiner-Prag’s Golem • Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka • Kafka and Kupka

Posted in {books} | 1 comment »


Set in Stone


Urban Chiaroscuro 6: Paris (after Piranesi) (2007) by Emily Allchurch. Pitzhanger Manor-House in Ealing, London, hosts an exhibition with architecture as its theme, a suitable subject given that the house was designed by notable 18th century architect (and friend of Piranesi) Sir John Soane. Artist Emily Allchurch has some meticulous and clever photo-collage reworkings of […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {cities}, {painting}, {photography} | 2 comments »


Red by Guillemots


Red, the second album by the wonderful Guillemots is released today with a striking cover image that seems rather familiar. left: The Listening Room (1958) by René Magritte. right: The Wrestler’s Tomb (1961) by René Magritte. Previously on { feuilleton } • Guillemots

Posted in {art}, {design}, {music}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »


Unseen pleasures

Unseen pleasures | Jon Savage on Joy Division’s visual documents.

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The art of Scott Treleaven


Nick + Matt (2004). Collage and painting by Canadian artist Scott Treleaven who says of his work “occult language and symbology often remains the most accurate way of describing and dignifying the human condition.” Black Shuck (i) (2007). • Scott Treleaven at Gay Utopia: I | II Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The gay […]

Posted in {art}, {gay}, {occult}, {painting}, {photography} | 2 comments »


Brave new worlds

Brave new worlds | Moorcock remembers Arthur C Clarke. A great piece.

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Paradise Now available now


Arthur Magazine‘s second essential DVD release is now available. “Life, revolution and theater are three words for the same thing: an unconditional NO to the present society.” Julian Beck (Living Theatre) “Paradise Now … more relevant now because we’re closer to now than we ever have been.” Hanon Reznikov (Living Theatre) Arthur Magazine proudly presents […]

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Meggendorfer’s Blatter


Meggendorfer’s Blatter, Meggendorfer’s Journal, a satirical magazine founded in 1886 by Lothar Meggendorfer. As with Punch and other humorous magazines of the era, much of the humour is lost today (even more so in a foreign tongue) but there’s some fine and stylish illustration on display. Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The illustrators archive […]

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The Maison Lavirotte


More Art Nouveau and more Paris…. I can’t believe I missed this place when I was in Paris for a week, staying just a few streets away. The building is at 29 Avenue Rapp in the 7th arrondissement and I crossed that street several times when walking to the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {sculpture} | 5 comments »


Repackaging Cormac


left: Vintage International (US), cover design by Susan Mitchell (1993). right: Picador (UK) reprint (2008). After the Oscars success of No Country for Old Men it’s understandable that Cormac McCarthy’s publishers would want to reprint all his works. His books still appear under the Picador imprint in the UK and they’ve been reissued recently in […]

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Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90

Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90

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The art of Ying-Yueh Chuang


Plant creature 1 (2001). Ying-Yueh Chuang’s ceramic sculptures are based on plant and animal forms, especially sea life. I haven’t seen any mention of her being inspired by Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature but many of her creations certainly resemble the plants and animals in Haeckel’s illustrations. It blooms on the day 1 (2004). Via […]

Posted in {art}, {science}, {sculpture} | 2 comments »


The recurrent pose 14


Photographer Thijs van Gils works a multiplied variation on the Flandrin pose. Elsewhere on { feuilleton } • The recurrent pose archive

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 1 comment »


Bring Me the Head of Ubu Roi


Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry. Now here’s a marriage made in heaven (or hell, depending on your point of view): Pere Ubu plus the Brothers Quay presenting Alfred Jarry’s 1896 classic of proto-surrealist theatre, Ubu Roi. I hope someone’s filming this given that there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to get down there to see […]

Posted in {animation}, {books}, {film}, {music}, {surrealism}, {theatre} | 3 comments »


Absinthe girls


The classic absinthe poster from 1896 by Henri Privat-Livemont (1861–1936), one of the best exponents of the post-Mucha style. Don’t let anyone tell you that using unclad women’s bodies in advertising is a new thing. And a couple more Mucha-esque examples circa 1900, both credited to “Nover”, from the wide selection of absinthe graphics at […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {drugs}, {illustrators} | 2 comments »


Le Monstre


Continuing the theme of the fin de siècle feminine, there’s this bizarre (undated) piece by Marcel Lenoir representing…what? A witch? Some demoness? Or woman in general? Considering the often overt misogyny of the period, the latter interpretation is quite possible; there were more than enough artists prepared to see women as the foundation of all […]

Posted in {art}, {illustrators}, {magazines} | 4 comments »


The Divine Sarah


Sarah Bernhardt by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1895). You can’t be a fin de siècle fetishist and not develop a fascination with actress Sarah Bernhardt, a woman who was muse to many of the era’s finest artists, most notably Alphonse Mucha, who she employed as her official designer. Mucha’s marvellous posters are endlessly popular, of course; less […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {fashion}, {sculpture}, {theatre} | 7 comments »


Roy Blakey


Photography by Roy Blakey.

Posted in {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography} | 3 comments »


Carlos Schwabe’s Fleurs du Mal


La Déstruction. More Symbolist femmes fatale, this time courtesy of Carlos Schwabe (1866–1926) and his illustrations for Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal from 1900. I’d had the site these pictures are from bookmarked for some time but hadn’t noticed that the version of Schwabe’s Spleen et Ideal illustration (below) was different to the one more commonly […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {painting}, {symbolists} | 6 comments »


Jagger vs Lennon

Jagger vs Lennon | London’s riots of 1968 provided the backdrop to a rock’n’roll battle royale.

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The Empusae, we’re told, were daughters of Hecate in Greek mythology, sent to harass the unwary traveller on lonely roads, as if travellers on lonely roads didn’t have enough to worry about from human malefactors. The sinister femme fatale of mythology was a popular subject among fin de siècle artists which perhaps explains why Carl […]

Posted in {art} | 3 comments »


Post one thousand


Or the thousandth post, so here’s a capital M from the Gothic alphabet of Marie de Bourgogne, circa 1480. Taken from Fantastic Alphabets (L’Aventurine, Paris, 1995).

Posted in {miscellaneous}, {typography} | 3 comments »


Dedalus flies again

Dedalus flies again | Publisher finds a new set of wings.

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Mouse Heaven by Kenneth Anger


Mouse Heaven: Minnie and Mickey. Kenneth Anger’s paean to Disney rodent memorabilia, and one of his most recent works, turns up at the Grey Lodge. Mouse Heaven is a distinctly minor piece, an awkward mix of film and video which juxtaposes shots of mouse figurines with a song-based soundtrack. Scorpio Rising this isn’t but the […]

Posted in {animation}, {comics}, {film}, {gay}, {magazines}, {television} | 2 comments »


A capital film

A capital film | The London Nobody Knows on DVD.

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At the Saint Sebastians exhibition you might think you’re seeing double

At the Saint Sebastians exhibition you might think you’re seeing double

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Reflections of Narcissus


Untitled (Adrian Kissing) 2007. The icon of male vanity returns again in a surreptitious form via this photograph by Brandon Herman from a new exhibition, My Vacation with a Kidnapper, which opens today at the Envoy Gallery, NYC, until April 19, 2008. Herman’s photography brings to the surface (so to speak) the homoerotic subtext of […]

Posted in {art}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {painting}, {photography}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »


Sidney Sime and Lord Dunsany


‘We would gallop through Africa’ from A Dreamer’s Tales. More from the book scans at the Internet Archive. Lord Dunsany was Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany and a writer of a number of fantasy tales beginning with The Gods of Pegana in 1905. His work is notable these days for having […]

Posted in {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft} | 2 comments »




Narcissus by Paul Dubois (1866). Via a Flickr page of sculpture photography.

Posted in {art}, {eye candy}, {gay}, {photography}, {sculpture} | 5 comments »


Ballantine Adult Fantasy covers


top left: Bob Pepper (1969); right: David Johnston (1974). bottom left: Mati Klarwein (1972); right: Gervasio Gallardo (1972). I wrote about the classic line of fantasy paperbacks in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series last year as part of the post about Bob Pepper’s illustration: It was the success of the publication of The Lord of […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {fantasy}, {horror}, {illustrators}, {lovecraft}, {typography} | 1 comment »


The art of Philippe Wolfers, 1858–1929


Maléficia (1905). Much of the jewellery and sculpture produced by Phillipe Wolfers demonstrates the tendency of Art Nouveau and decorative Symbolism to evolve from Decadence to full-blown Gothic. The sinister recurs in Wolfers’ creations whether in the form of baleful females such as Malèficia and his Medusa pendant, or in the shape of bats, insects […]

Posted in {art nouveau}, {art}, {design}, {fashion}, {sculpture}, {symbolists} | 4 comments »


Entr’acte by René Clair


One of the best—and most entertaining—films to come out of the Dada/Surrealist period, Entr’acte (1924) is also worth watching for the appearance of notable figures such as Francis Picabia (who initiated the project), Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Erik Satie. This extraordinary early film from director René Clair was originally made to fill an interval […]

Posted in {art}, {dance}, {film}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »


Sam Amidon in Manchester


The phrase “breathless hush” might have been created for the rapt anticipation that greets some of the artists who play the Cross Street Chapel in Manchester. The circular space is a perfect arena for detailed electronica of the kind presented by Machinefabriek and company last year, or acoustic performances such as tonight’s astonishing set by […]

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“feed your head”