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


 

Delville, Scriabin and Prometheus

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Another striking design found by chance. Symbolist artist Jean Delville (1867–1953) created this sheet music title page for Promethée by Scriabin in 1912, and the pair are well-matched given their shared predilection for mysticism (Theosophy in Delville’s case). Delville had also dealt with Prometheus in a typically dramatic, if sexless, picture a few years earlier (below). Once again it’s unfortunate that one of the really great artists of the Symbolist period is so poorly-served by the web that one has to discover his work by accident. There’s a dedicated site here but the gallery pages are only harvesting what’s already scattered around. Delville had a long and consistently high-quality career; he deserves better.

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Prometheus (1907).

Update: Dave C reminds us of another Delville site with a better selection of pictures including a photo of the artist at work.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The faces of Parsifal
Masonic fonts and the designer’s dark materials
Angels 4: Fallen angels

 


 

Posted in {art}, {illustrators}, {music}, {occult}, {painting}, {symbolists}.

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6 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Dave C

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    Hear, hear! I’ve been a fan of Delville for longer than I care to remember, but as you say, he remains so obscure it’s ridiculous. I was lucky enough to see his Portrait of Mrs Merrill at the fabulous Fernand Khnopff exhibition in Brussells a few years ago. What is never indicated in all the reproductions of this picture is its wonderful (Margaret) Mackintosh style frame which adds a great deal to an already superb image.

    Aside from the links on wikipedia this site has a few more pics and some interesting details:

    http://www.jeandelville.org/Paintings/index.htm

  2. #2 posted by John

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    The only one I’ve seen up close is his huge Plato’s School in the Musée d’Orsay. Nice white peacock and lots of oddly-proportioned nude men swooning around a Plato who looks more like a Christ figure than a Greek philosopher. The d’Orsay has a couple of room of Symbolist art.

    I think I’ve seen that frame for Mrs Merrill although I’d have to go hunting through a load of books to find out where. And thanks for the site tip, should have linked to that place earlier. Good to see The Angel of Splendour there, the painting I put on the back of Savoy’s edition of A Voyage to Arcturus.

  3. #3 posted by Wiley

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    Wow, I’d no idea some of these were Delville’s. He’s even better than I thought.

  4. #4 posted by Thombeau

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    Always loved Delville. That top image would be a great tattoo. Hmm…

  5. #5 posted by John

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    If you do get a tattoo, make sure you send me a photo of it!

  6. #6 posted by Nick Hydra

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    Very small collection here, but it includes his amazing Medusa, which I hadn’t seen before.

    http://www.angelfire.com/celeb/sgrayesq/delville.html

 


 

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