{ feuilleton }


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


Salammbô illustrated


Salammbô by Alphonse Mucha (1897).

Alphonse Mucha’s gorgeous rendering of Flaubert’s Carthaginian heroine isn’t included in the many illustrated editions at this Salammbô site but plenty of other adaptations are. Examples range from faithful renderings by George Rochegrosse and Mahlon Blaine to drawings which are less successful or even downright bad. Also included are panels from Philippe Druillet‘s bizarre science fiction adaptation from the 1980s, a version which is often closer to Frank Herbert than Gustave Flaubert although many of the compositions are striking. One of these was used for a sleeve illustration by Richard Pinhas on his excellent East West album in 1980. And by coincidence, Druillet’s site mentions a forthcoming exhibition of his Salammbô nudes at the Galerie Pascal Gabert on May 20th.


Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The album covers archive
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Mahlon Blaine, 1894–1969
Druillet meets Hodgson
The music of Igor Wakhévitch



Posted in {art}, {books}, {comics}, {electronica}, {illustrators}, {music}, {science fiction}.

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4 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Dimitris


    I think that the Druillet version of Salammbô has also inspired the lyrisc of the song “Mesmerised”, by extreme metal legends (and mates of H.P. Giger) Celtic Frost:


    Well worth a listen, although, admittedly, it’s an acquired taste.

  2. #2 posted by John


    I didn’t know about the Celtic Frost connection. Doesn’t surprise me, however; Druillet is like a French Giger and Flaubert’s novel is pretty excessive which is why it appealed so much to the Decadents.

  3. #3 posted by Wiley


    What sad state would the strange, excessive, and fantastique be in were it not for a handful of certain odd French authors and those who illustrated their works, I wonder? Thank you as always.

  4. #4 posted by John


    Flaubert’s excesses had a big influence on the fin de siècle writers who followed him, and possibly on Oscar Wilde when he came to write Salome. As with all French literature, however, you need a decent translation. The copy I have is an old edition, I ought to find a more recent version. It’s a strange book, historical fiction written with an intensity that turns the ancient world into a weird and exotic dreamscape.






“feed your head”