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

Archive for the ‘Paul Delvaux’ tag




Exhibition catalogue. In one of the many recent features about Leonora Carrington I noticed a mention of her Temptation of St Anthony painting from 1945 (see below). This was one of eleven works on the theme submitted by different artists for a competition staged to promote Albert Lewin’s The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947), […]

Posted in {art}, {fantasy}, {film}, {painting}, {religion}, {surrealism} | 3 comments »


Papillons de Nuit, a film by Raoul Servais


From Homosurrealism to Belgio-surrealism. Papillons de Nuit (1997) is a short homage to the Surrealist painter Paul Delvaux featuring a handful of familiar Delvaux motifs including nocturnal tramcars and large-eyed, bare-breasted women. Raoul Servais had already borrowed some of Delvaux’s imagery for his feature-length fantasy, Taxandria (1994), but that film doesn’t sustain itself over its […]

Posted in {animation}, {art}, {film}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »


Sirene by Raoul Servais


Sirene (1968), a short animation by Belgian filmmaker Raoul Servais, isn’t as sinister as his nightmarish Harpya (1979), despite the similar titles. But Sirene does have a collection of anthropomorphic harbour cranes, and a flock of inexplicable pterodactyls like something out of a Gerald Scarfe cartoon. Watch it here. Previously on { feuilleton } • […]

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Paul Delvaux: The Sleepwalker of Saint-Idesbald


Saint-Idesbald is a small, unremarkable seaside town on the Belgian coast situated between Ostend and the border with France. I spent a week there on a school camping holiday in the 1970s unaware that it was the home of the great Surrealist painter Paul Delvaux (1897–1994). I suppose you could make the argument that the […]

Posted in {art}, {film}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 1 comment »


Weekend links 90


Portrait of Dr. Ignacio Chavez (1957) by Remedios Varo (1908–1963) some of whose Surrealist paintings can be seen at Frey Norris, San Francisco, from 19th January. There’s also In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 29th January. The current crop […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {design}, {gay}, {illustrators}, {music}, {painting}, {politics}, {religion}, {sculpture}, {surrealism}, {theatre} | Comments Off


Six Suites of Engravings


Something discovered following another delve through the collections of etchings and engravings at the Internet Archive where a frustrated search for one subject turns up something else. This 1549 folio of architectural engravings is credited to architect and designer Jacques Androuet du Cerceau (1510–1584), and the plates are based on earlier renderings by Agostino Veneziano […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {design} | 1 comment »


Les Temps Morts by René Laloux


Is Les Temps Morts a French figure of speech? The phrase translates as “idle periods” as well as the more literal “dead times”, so the title of this short film from 1964 may have some punning intent. This was René Laloux’s second film as director, and one I’d not seen before until it turned up […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 4 comments »


The Public Voice by Lejf Marcussen


Lejf Marcussen is a Danish filmmaker whose animation Den Offentlige Røst (The Public Voice, 1988) I know from UK TV screenings, back in the days when the TV channels here used to screen more than cookery shows and soap operas. This is a short Surrealist piece which begins with zoom into a Paul Delvaux painting […]

Posted in {animation}, {film}, {surrealism} | 2 comments »


The art of Carel Willink, 1900–1983


Townscape (1934). Carel Willink was a Dutch painter whose self-described brand of “imaginary realism” conjured in its early years a collection of views of desolate plazas, empty lanes and abandoned ruins over which smoke or cloud hangs like an ominous portent. The works of Giorgio de Chirico and Paul Delvaux come to mind when looking […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {fantasy}, {painting}, {surrealism} | 8 comments »


Echoes of the Cities


Mysterieux retour du Capitaine Nemo. This week has been incredibly hectic work-wise but I’ve managed to keep these posts going, so here’s the last one devoted to an appreciation of the Cités Obscures of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters. A week of posts barely scratches the surface of their vast and involved creation of alternate […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {borges}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | Comments Off


Further tales from the Obscure World


L’enfant penchée. We’re at the penultimate post in this week-long tribute to the Cités Obscures series of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, and there isn’t enough space left to cover some of the more recent volumes in detail. What follows is a quick skate through three more major works. L’enfant penchée. L’enfant penchée (1996), or […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 1 comment »


Brüsel by Schuiten & Peeters


The Palace of Justice, Brussels. Brüsel (1992) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters follows La route d’Armilia as the next major work concerning the Cités Obscures. As with La Tour, this is a longer story where it isn’t immediately apparent that we’re in the Obscure World at all, although Brüsel is clearly an alternate version […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


La route d’Armilia by Schuiten & Peeters


Ferdinand and Hella look down on the skyscrapers of Brüsel. La route d’Armilia (1988) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the next substantial story in the Cités Obscures series after La Tour; there was also a book about transportation in the Obscure World, L’Encyclopédie des transports présents et à venir, published the same year. […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction} | 5 comments »


La Tour by Schuiten & Peeters


La Tour (1987) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the third story in the Cités Obscures series, although it’s the fourth volume if you want to be strictly canon about things, L’archivist, a guide to places in the Obscure World, having preceded it. Carcere Oscura by Piranesi (1750). This is another book where Schuiten […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {black and white}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 7 comments »


La fièvre d’Urbicande by Schuiten & Peeters


La fièvre d’Urbicande (1985) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the second volume in the Cités Obscures series. This was the one which captured my attention the most when I first saw it. The book opens with a foreword by the central character, Robick, chief architect of the city of Urbicande, in which he […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {music} | 8 comments »


Les Murailles de Samaris by Schuiten & Peeters


The Obscure World. Les Murailles de Samaris (1983) by François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters is the first of the stories which explores the world of Les Cités Obscures, a “counter-Earth” on the opposite side of our Sun with a continent of separate city-states, each with their own distinct architectural style. Having discovered these stories first […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art nouveau}, {art}, {books}, {borges}, {cities}, {comics}, {fantasy}, {illustrators} | 1 comment »


The art of François Schuiten


Paris au XXieme Siecle by Jules Verne (1994). Following a comment I made last week in the post about the Temples of Future Religions by François Garas I’ve decided it’s time to give some proper attention to one of my favourite comic artists, François Schuiten, a Belgian whose obsession with imaginary architecture resembles the earlier […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {books}, {cities}, {comics}, {design}, {fantasy}, {illustrators}, {science fiction}, {technology} | 3 comments »


Ballard and the painters


Jours de Lenteur (1937) by Yves Tanguy. Behind it, the ark of his covenant, stood two photographs in a hinged blackwood frame. On the left was a snapshot of himself at the age of four, sitting on a lawn between his parents before their divorce. On the right, exorcizing this memory, was a faded reproduction […]

Posted in {art}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {surrealism}, {symbolists} | 10 comments »


JG Ballard, 1930–2009


Panther Books paperback edition, 1968; cover painting: The Eye of Silence by Max Ernst. If I can’t remember when I first encountered JG Ballard’s work, it’s not because I was reading him at a very early age, more that a childhood enthusiasm for science fiction made his books as omnipresent in my early life as […]

Posted in {art}, {books}, {borges}, {burroughs}, {painting}, {science fiction}, {surrealism} | 13 comments »


Bruges panoramas


Do you detect a theme here? The 360º Cities site which I linked to yesterday won’t be news to some since its panorama views are now incorporated into Google Earth. I hadn’t fully investigated it before, however, so I wasted some time today wandering the streets of Bruges almost as you would in a computer […]

Posted in {architecture}, {art}, {cities}, {painting}, {photography}, {surrealism} | 2 comments »



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