L’Image, 1896–1897

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L’Image was a short-lived French publication dedicated to the art of contemporary wood engraving. Short-lived it may have been but its position at the birth of Art Nouveau means that many of its smaller graphics have been recycled ever since in studies of the period. One of these graphics, a fleuron by Jean-Jacques Drogue, was the subject of an earlier post when I was tracing the origin of a motif used for many years by my colleagues at Savoy Books. I eventually found Drogue’s fleuron in a collection of rather poor scans at Gallica, a good resource but one whose web interface (and often the materials themselves) leaves much to be desired.

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All the images here are from a collection of the entire run of L’Image at the Internet Archive which are much better quality and which include the early issues missing from Gallica. The most notable thing about the earlier issues is the way they combine the Art Nouveau style with Symbolist art; in addition to an engraving by Carlos Schwabe that I hadn’t seen before there’s a very Symbolist piece about nocturnal Bruges featuring art by Georges de Feure.

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The art of Henricus Jansen, 1867–1921

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This week’s post is another by Sander Bink about a neglected artist of the Dutch fin de siècle. Once again, this is an artist whose work was new to me. The Mucha-like style of the later pictures (and the one above from the same series) are especially good. My thanks again to Sander for the post.

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Henricus Jansen (1867–1921) was a Dutch painter, graphic artist and illustrator who used ‘Henricus’ as his artist’s name, ‘Jansen’ being a very common and decidedly unsexy surname. He originated from The Hague where Art Nouveau and symbolism flourished in the 1890s more than any other Dutch city.

In the little that has been written about Henricus he is usually considered not to be avant-garde or progressive enough to be an ‘important artist’ (whatever that may mean). He is, however, mentioned in the standard reference work Symbolism in Dutch Art by Polak from 1955. Extensive studies have never been published about him and my main source of information about his life and work is an unpublished university thesis from 1988 by Louis Baeten of which I happen to have a copy. Baeten had spoken to Henricus’s daughter who was then still alive. According to the thesis Henricus must have made hundreds of drawings and paintings but they seem to be quite rare nowadays and seldom come to auction.

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For example, Henricus visited Tunisia in 1901 where Baeten says he produced more than 67 pastels and drawings of which “only seven survive”. These were exhibited in The Hague in 1901, and Leiden in 1907. One of these is depicted here from a private collection: a charming, somewhat cartoon-like ink drawing of three Tunisian male figures.

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From 1887 till 1892 Henricus lived in Paris where he mingled in the bohemian and artistic circles around Le Chat Noir, and knew people like Rodolphe Salis and Paul Verlaine. The drawings and illustrations he produced from around 1890 are strongly influenced by Parisian graphic artists like Steinlen, Grasset and Willette, uncommon models in Dutch art of the 1890s. Examples like the drawing of a lady in an antique market (above) are to be found in his illustrations for a book by Johan Gram, ‘s-Gravenhage in onzen tijd (The Hague nowadays) from 1893.

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More Symbolist in style, and therefore probably more of interest to { feuilleton } readers, are his illustrations for the popular magazine Elsevier’s. The picture shown here is a lithograph he made for the poem ‘Paulinus van Nola’ by the Flemish poet Pol de Mont, published in 1895.

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But his chef d’oeuvre is a series of lithographs inspired by the medieval folk song Heer Halewijn (Lord Halewijn), published in 1904 and exhibited in The Hague the same year, of which three are depicted here (from the collection Van der Peppel.) The most famous of the series is plate number sixteen in which Lord Halewijn’s head is decapitated by a charming lady. It is obviously inspired by Beardsley’s Salomé but is made with an entirely different technique and in colours. There is also a touch of Puvis de Chavannes and Carlos Schwabe to them. They are among the finest examples of Dutch fin de siècle graphic art.

Sander Bink

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Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Antoon van Welie, 1866–1956
The art of Simon Moulijn, 1866–1948
René Gockinga revisited
Gockinga’s Bacchanal and an unknown portrait of Fritz Klein
More from the Decadent Dutch

Salon de la Rose + Croix

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Carlos Schwabe’s poster from 1892 for the first of Joséphin Péladan’s art and music Salons de la Rose + Croix. The “Sâr” Peladan’s imposition on the artistic life of Paris in the 1890s may have the smack of a vanity project but he caused enough of a stir to give Rosicrucianism an unlikely fashionabilty for a while. The roster of contributing artists is also impressive, almost a who’s who of Symbolist art. There were six salons in all, the last being in 1897. The poster for the fifth salon by Armand Point & Léonard Sarluis shows Perseus holding the decapitated head of Émile Zola. The evangelist of literary realism was one of Symbolism’s arch-enemies but that didn’t prevent Carlos Schwabe from producing illustrations for Le Rêve.

The pages below are from Peladan’s many books, La Queste du Graal: Proses Lyriques de l’Éthopée; La Décadence Latine (1892). The illustrations aren’t the best reproductions, and they aren’t the greatest artworks either, but they give a sense of what Peladan wanted to see embellishing his own brand of artistic mysticism. Gallica has a Salon de la Rose + Croix catalogue (also from 1892) but like many of the documents archived there the quality leaves a lot to be desired.

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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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Weekend links 107

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Le Faune (1923) by Carlos Schwabe.

• “When I recently attended a conference in China, many of the presenters left their papers on the cloud—Google Docs, to be specific. You know how this story ends: they got to China and there was no Google. Shit out of luck. Their cloud-based Gmail was also unavailable, as were the cloud lockers on which they had stored their rich media presentations.” Ubuweb’s Kenneth Goldsmith on why he doesn’t trust the Cloud.

• “I’m a poet and Britain is not a land for poets anymore.” A marvellous interview with the great Lindsay Kemp at Dangerous Minds. Subjects include all that you’d hope for: Genet, Salomé, David Bowie, Ken Russell, Derek Jarman, The Wicker Man and “papier maché giant cocks”.

• “As early as the 1950s, Maurice Richardson wrote a Freudian analysis which concluded that Dracula was ‘a kind of incestuous-necrophilious, oral-anal-sadistic all-in wrestling match’.” Christopher Frayling on the Bram Stoker centenary.

Björk gets enthused by (among other things) Leonora Carrington, The Hour-Glass Sanatorium and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s YouTube lectures.

• Before Fritz Lang’s Metropolis there was Algol – Tragödie der Macht (1920). Strange Flowers investigates.

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David Marsh recreates famous album covers using Adobe Illustrator’s Pantone swatches.

• New titles forthcoming from Strange Attractor Press. Related: an interview with SAP allies Cyclobe.

• 960 individual slabs of vinyl make an animated waveform for Benga’s I Will Never Change.

• An exhibition of works by Stanislav Szukalksi at Varnish Fine Art, San Francisco,

Keith Haring‘s erotic mural for the NYC LGBT Community Center is restored.

The Situationist Times (1962–1967) is resurrected at Boo-Hooray.

• Doors Closing Slowly: Derek Raymond‘s Factory Novels.

Will Wilkinson insists that fiction isn’t good for you.

• More bookplates at BibliOdyssey and 50 Watts.

The Top 25 Psychedelic Videos of All Time.

Flannery O’Connor: cartoonist.

• RIP Adam Yauch.

• Their finest moment: Sabotage (1994) by Beastie Boys.