Moser’s Allegories

moser1.jpg

Kopfleisten.

A few plates by Koloman Moser from Allegorien: Neue Folge (1896), a collection of allegorical drawings, graphics and emblems by a number of artists in Moser’s circle, including Gustav Klimt, Franz Stuck and Carl Otto Czeschka. I keep hoping someone might upload a complete set of these plates but this doesn’t seem to have happened yet. Publisher and editor Martin Gerlach later commissioned Die Quelle (1901), a book of patterns and designs by Moser, several of which prefigure the tessellations of MC Escher.

moser2.jpg

Frühlingsmorgen.

moser3.jpg

Jagd.

Continue reading “Moser’s Allegories”

Inferni

inferno06.jpg

The Barque of Dante (1822) by Eugène Delacroix.

More infernal visions. Depictions of Hell aren’t exactly recent but the 19th century saw an increase in Dantean themes, helped, no doubt, by the Romantic taste for violent drama. There are many more such paintings, especially of the doomed lovers Paolo and Francesca whose plight is almost an artistic sub-genre. I’ve avoided the popular depictions by William Blake and Gustave Doré although the latter is represented below by a painting you don’t often see.

inferno03.jpg

Dante and Virgil in Hell (1850) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

inferno04.jpg

Dante and Virgil at the Entrance to Hell (1857) by Edgar Degas.

Continue reading “Inferni”

The art of Carlos Schwabe, 1866–1926

schwabe01.jpg

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.

schwabe09.jpg

Jour de morts (1890).

schwabe04.jpg

La mort du fossoyeur (1895).

Continue reading “The art of Carlos Schwabe, 1866–1926”

Stuck’s serpents

stuck1.jpg

The Sin (1894).

Some pictures in honour of the Chinese year of the Water Snake which begins this Sunday. Paintings of women with snakes are legion, even after you winnow out all the Eve and the Serpent pictures, so you need to narrow the field of view. Artists of the 19th century must have been delighted when Gustave Flaubert published Salammbô in 1862, chapter 10 of which—The Serpent—gave them an excuse to depict an exotic woman involved with a snake completely free of any Biblical trappings.

stuck3.jpg

Sensuality (1891).

Franz Stuck’s celebrated trio of serpent women can be read as Eve figures but their provocative posing is more in line with the prurient misogyny common to much art of the period, an attitude which condemned women for being so tempting whilst also secretly lusting after their bodies. Sensuality is remarkable for the way its oiled snake is so firmly lodged between the woman’s thighs. Stuck was never very interested in Christian themes—many of his other works are a Teutonic take on Classical subjects—so I wonder whether his use of the word “sin” was merely a fig leaf for delivering imagery he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to exhibit.

stuck2.jpg

The Sin (1893).

wilson.jpg

Sin Dance (1966) by Wes Wilson.

Symbolist art was rediscovered in the 1960s after decades of neglect, and the psychedelic poster artists happily plundered the art books for suitable imagery. Stuck’s Sin returned to the world in these two Avalon Ballroom posters. Wes Wilson’s Sin Dance was a design for an event which was cancelled so this might explain why the same painting appeared a few months later on a Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley poster. The Mouse & Kelley version was printed with metallic inks.

For more of Franz Stuck’s work see WikiPaintings.

mouse.jpg

Jefferson Airplane at the Avalon Ballroom (1966) by Mouse & Kelley.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Serpentine pulchritude
Salammbô illustrated
The Feminine Sphinx
Men with snakes

L’art dans la décoration extérieure des livres

livres1.jpg

Back at the fin de siècle with this study by Octave Uzanne of book cover design in the 1890s. L’art dans la décoration extérieure des livres is over four hundred pages of very varied designs, from covers for popular novels to the state of the art by usual suspects Aubrey Beardsley, Charles Ricketts et al. Léon Rudnicki provides the cover and some interior illustrations. The examples below include pieces by Symbolist artists Félicien Rops and Franz Stuck, as well as one of Alphonse Mucha’s designs for Judith Gautier’s Mémoires d’un Éléphant blanc. The complete book may be browsed here or downloaded here.

livres2.jpg

livres3.jpg

Continue reading “L’art dans la décoration extérieure des livres”