L’amour des âmes


L’amour des âmes (1900) by Jean Delville.

Another of the many connections between the Symbolism and psychedelic poster art, the mystically-inclined Jean Delville (1867–1953) may at least have approved of the addition of a yin-yang symbol to his painting of drifting souls. I was originally going to post Delville’s Pour L’art poster design since I’ve not seen a copy on the web as good as the one below which is scanned from a book. (The principal Delville site has many of his works but in variable quality.) Delville’s pair of floating lovers happen coincidentally to suit the preoccupations of February 14th.


MC5 at the Grande Ballroom, Detroit (1967) by Gary Grimshaw.

Pour L’art was a Belgian circle of artists formed in Brussels in 1892 to stage exhibitions promoting their work. Delville was the most notable of the group as well as being one of its prime movers. Looking on the Delville website it’s good to see there’s a major study of the artist’s life and work in progress, with publication scheduled for later this year. Too many artists from the late 19th century have been neglected for far too long but attitudes are slowly changing. Anyone interested in Jean Delville is advised to also look at this site which is dedicated to that apostle of androgyny, Joséphin Péladan. One of the strangest characters in the Symbolist menagerie (and the competition for that label is fierce), Péladan’s occult theories inspired Delville and a number of other artists in Belgium and France. It’s good to see he’s also gaining some serious study at last.


Pour L’art (1892) by Jean Delville.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Philippe Jullian, connoisseur of the exotic
Delville, Scriabin and Prometheus
The faces of Parsifal
Masonic fonts and the designer’s dark materials
Angels 4: Fallen angels

6 thoughts on “L’amour des âmes”

  1. I love Delville. One of my prize possessions is my Savoy edition of “A Voyage to Arcturus” with your cover and backing. When I lived in my old apartment I had a print of “Satan’s Treasures” over my headboard. So, thanks for introducing me to one of my favorite artists.

  2. Everyone seems to like that cover design. If I did it now I’d make the type layout better on the back and the spine. It’s also a shame we didn’t have a slightly better copy of the Angel of Splendour. The photo we were sent of the original had some bad lighting glare which affected the colours.

  3. This piece looks like a Tarot card, either The Lovers or The Sun (the former being more Waite/Smith, the latter more Crowley/Harris with the twins)

  4. One of the things I like about Delville’s work is that hieratic quality. He was influenced by Theosophy so he must have been aware of the Tarot.

  5. Schwabe happened to be one of the other artists in the Pour L’art group. He was also as mystical as Delville much of the time, albeit with a darker inclination.

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