More chimeras


The Chimera (1867) by Gustave Moreau.

It’s no easy task to catalogue all the chimeras that proliferate between the numerous examples in the work of Gustave Moreau to those produced before the First World War. Consider this a sample, then, and a pointer to further research. Several of these artists—Malczewski, Ernst, Brauner—returned to theme many times.


The Sphinx: “My gaze, which nothing can deflect, passes through the things and remains fixed on an inaccessible horizon.” The Chimera: “I am weightless and joyful.” (1889) by Odilon Redon.


The Chimera’s Despair (1892) by Alexandre Séon.

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The art of Jacek Malczewski, 1854–1929


Thanatos I & II (1898).

The Symbolist movement in painting found adherents across Europe but the western Europeans have always been the ones who receive the most attention for their work. Jacek Malczewski was a Polish artist who produced a number of paintings which can be classed as Symbolist—the usual complement of angels and chimeras—even though much of his output is more mundane fare. He also had a peculiar Dalínian propensity for putting himself in many of his pictures, as in the example below. The pictures here are from a substantial web collection.


Finis Poloniae (1906).

Previously on { feuilleton }
Carlos Schwabe’s Fleurs du Mal