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


 

The art of Gustav Adolf Mossa, 1883–1971

mossa1.jpg

Self-portrait.

A French artist and another late Symbolist painter whose idiosyncracies point to Surrealism but whose obsession with femmes fatales looks back to the preoccupations of the fin de siècle. If you don’t mind the implicit misogyny there’s a lot more to be seen here and here.

mossa2.jpg

Elle (1906).

mossa3.jpg

Le baiser d’Hélène (1905).

mossa4.jpg

Bruges-la-morte (1911).

Previously on { feuilleton }
Le Sphinx Mystérieux
La belle sans nom
The Feminine Sphinx
Le Monstre
Carlos Schwabe’s Fleurs du Mal
Empusa
Bruges-la-Morte

 


 

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {surrealism}, {symbolists}.

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4 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Jeremiah Q. Oxterwhiff

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    John, nice to be reminded of the strange work of Mossa Junior. I saw some of his pictures in Nice years ago. I find some of his work reminiscent of that of the Belgian Symbolist, Felicien Rops, but the latter tended more to the Satanic and blasphemous in his.

  2. #2 posted by Piotr

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    Bruges-la-Morte again ! Decidedly the symbolist/decadent town de rigueur !

  3. #3 posted by John

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    Jeremiah: I’m reminded of Rops as well although Mossa portrays his women with more generosity however evil they might be. Rops’ women all look uniquely vicious and depraved.

    Piotr: Yes, I was surprised by that one, I hadn’t seen it before.

  4. #4 posted by Wiley

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    Woefully underrated artist considering there were others far more well-known amongst the symbolists whose art wasn’t nearly as good, by that meaning well-imagined, well-composed, and well-executed. I agree, he should be as ‘relatively’ well-known as Rops, if not more. He tackled many of the same themes, though with more creative and interesting compositions and imagery, and his femme-fatales definitely seem to have more of a story to tell, more at home with Bataille, Artaud, or Edogawa Rampo’s writings than being mere Sadean stage-props as they tended to be with Rops, great as he was. To be fair though, Rops had more of a talent for making the figures and objects in his painting move with more natural fluidity than Mossa.

    You know an artist is underrated when the most you knew of him, until now that is, came from random entries in Flickr. I don’t think either of the galleries contained this one- http://www.flickr.com/photos/roserosette/2070117925/in/faves-54571174@N08/

    Thanks for this.

 


 

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