Delville, Scriabin and Prometheus


Another striking design found by chance. Symbolist artist Jean Delville (1867–1953) created this sheet music title page for Promethée by Scriabin in 1912, and the pair are well-matched given their shared predilection for mysticism (Theosophy in Delville’s case). Delville had also dealt with Prometheus in a typically dramatic, if sexless, picture a few years earlier (below). Once again it’s unfortunate that one of the really great artists of the Symbolist period is so poorly-served by the web that one has to discover his work by accident. There’s a dedicated site here but the gallery pages are only harvesting what’s already scattered around. Delville had a long and consistently high-quality career; he deserves better.



Prometheus (1907).

Update: Dave C reminds us of another Delville site with a better selection of pictures including a photo of the artist at work.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The faces of Parsifal
Masonic fonts and the designer’s dark materials
Angels 4: Fallen angels

6 thoughts on “Delville, Scriabin and Prometheus”

  1. Hear, hear! I’ve been a fan of Delville for longer than I care to remember, but as you say, he remains so obscure it’s ridiculous. I was lucky enough to see his Portrait of Mrs Merrill at the fabulous Fernand Khnopff exhibition in Brussells a few years ago. What is never indicated in all the reproductions of this picture is its wonderful (Margaret) Mackintosh style frame which adds a great deal to an already superb image.

    Aside from the links on wikipedia this site has a few more pics and some interesting details:

  2. The only one I’ve seen up close is his huge Plato’s School in the Musée d’Orsay. Nice white peacock and lots of oddly-proportioned nude men swooning around a Plato who looks more like a Christ figure than a Greek philosopher. The d’Orsay has a couple of room of Symbolist art.

    I think I’ve seen that frame for Mrs Merrill although I’d have to go hunting through a load of books to find out where. And thanks for the site tip, should have linked to that place earlier. Good to see The Angel of Splendour there, the painting I put on the back of Savoy’s edition of A Voyage to Arcturus.

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