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


 

The art of Carlos Schwabe, 1866–1926

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Le Faune (1923).

Yesterday’s Pan prompted me to repost Carlos Schwabe’s wonderful painting of a faun, one of my favourite faun/satyr depictions, and easily one of the best in the entire Symbolist corpus. Other satyr aficionados of the period such as Arnold Böcklin and Franz Stuck had an unfortunate knack for making their goat gods look rather foolish.

Schwabe was a German artist, and one of the more mystical of the Symbolists, with a fondness for winged figures and a preoccupation with death. The mystical end of the Symbolist spectrum is the one I enjoy the most so I often point to Schwabe or Jean Delville as exemplars of this type of art. Both Schwabe and Delville were connected briefly by Joséphin Péladan’s very mystical Salon de la Rose + Croix although Delville later gravitated to Theosophy. Schwabe produced illustrations for an edition of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, and would have featured in the Baudelaire posts last week if some of those drawings hadn’t appeared here already. The title page was a new find, however, so it’s included below.

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Jour de morts (1890).

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La mort du fossoyeur (1895).

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Athanasius Kircher’s Pan

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More from the Kircher archives at the University of Heidelberg. As before, it’s good to see illustrations familiar from countless reprintings in books in their place of origin. The volume in question is Obeliscus Pamphilius: hoc est, Interpretatio noua & Hucusque Intentata Obelisci Hieroglyphici (1650), one of Kircher’s attempts at deciphering the hieroglyphics on Egyptian obelisks. I’m still not sure how the Great God Pan fits into these speculations even as a diagrammatic figure, unless in this case it’s Pan as a representative of Nature as a whole.

Whatever the explanation, the Pan picture often turns up in occult anthologies although you’re as likely to see the copy from Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928) as the original. Hall’s rendering is useful for the translation of the Latin although he also says it may represent the god Jupiter (?) and he censors the not-very-obtrusive penis, a rather fatuous bit of prudery for a book that’s supposedly concerned with universal truths.

A few more plates follow, one of which features a serpent I swiped several years ago for a Cradle of Filth T-shirt design.

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Weekend links 224

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Zona: concept art by Alex Andreyev for a planned TV series based on Roadside Picnic by Arkady & Boris Strugatsky.

The Black Sessions are a long-running series of concerts by international artists recorded for radio station France Inter. UK group Broadcast were recorded by the station in May, 2000. While copies of the shows can be often be hard to find, files of the Broadcast concert may be downloaded here. A fantastic performance, especially the white-hot psychedelic freakout at the end.

• Further investigations from the radio age: Invention for Radio No. 1: The Dreams (43 mins, 1964): “an attempt to re-create in five movements some sensations of dreaming—running away, falling, landscape, underwater and colour”. Voices recorded by Barry Bermange with Radiophonic manipulation by Delia Derbyshire.

• “…in his first description of Cthulhu he gives you a list of four things that Cthulhu isn’t quite like.” Nick Talbot talks to Alan Moore about HP Lovecraft. Related: one of my depictions of Azathoth appears in this list of “gods who have forsaken you”.

• Tracking the locations of JG Ballard’s Super-Cannes: an investigation by Rick Poynor. Related: houseboats, architecture and eco-disaster; Justin Sullivan photographs California’s extreme drought.

• “As her writing career existed outside the realm of respectable ‘high-lit’ fiction, she cast herself as an outsider icon.” Chris Kraus on I’m Very Into You, a collection of Kathy Acker’s emails.

• Cover design inspiring fiction: Susan Coll on how a photo of a Bauhaus chair on the cover of her new novel, The Stager, made her alter her text at the last minute.

• “People were either taken by it or felt it was the Antichrist.” MetaFilter on Clair Noto’s unmade science-fiction film, The Tourist.

The Norwood Variations is a new album by Drew Mulholland (Mount Vernon Arts Lab et al).

• Thought Maybe has a collection of the television essays made by Adam Curtis.

• From 1974: How To Make Magic, a children’s handbook of the occult.

• Mix of the week: Secret Thirteen Mix 126 by Mira Calix.

One Minute Blasts Rising To Three And Then Diminishing (2000) by Mount Vernon Arts Lab | Dashwood’s Reverie (2001) by Mount Vernon Arts Lab | Warner’s Reverie (2002) by Mount Vernon Astral Temple

 


September

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September (no date) by John Elwyn.

The beginning of autumn in paintings, and a very small selection. Something about the light and balmy air of September in the Northern Hemisphere generates a large quantity of pastoral scenes and landscapes.

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September (1890) by Theodor Severin Kittelsen.

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The Seasons Series: September (1891) by Maurice Denis.

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Sunrise in September (1924) by George Clausen.

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Pierre-Yves Trémois’s Fleur du Mal

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A couple of works by Pierre-Yves Trémois appeared in one of the very first posts here back in 2006 as part of the feature that began the long-running Recurrent Pose series. I like Tremois’s work a great deal so it’s good to find these pages from his 1971 edition of Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. There were ten illustrations in all, some of them in the clear-line etching style familiar from his many prints. The Tremois edition is unusual in having some (all?) the poems written out by the artist. He’s also one of the few illustrators to do justice to Baudelaire’s scandalous lesbian verses by showing women who actually seem attracted to one another. Earlier illustrators—if they depicted the theme at all—were much more coy.

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“feed your head”

 

Below the fold

 

Penda's Fen by David Rudkin