Illustrators of Decadence
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Beresford Egan illustrated works by Aleister Crowley, Baudelaire and Louys. Majeska, about whom I know little, illustrated Huneker's Painted Veils and Louys's Psyche.
Mahlon Blaine was all over the place - from children's books to the Marquis de Sade. His illustrations, particularly those he provided for The Sorcerer's Apprentice and for Alraune, are perversely erotic - cankered cartoons - which share much in common stylistically with the work of Wallace Smith, infamous, at one time, for his decoration of Fantazius Mallare and the Covici edition of Arthur Machen's The Shining Pyramid.
Other illustrators of the genre worth seeking are Aubrey Beardsley, Alastair, Etienne Drian (Monsieur de Bougrelon and Le Canne de Jaspe), Frank Pape (several works by James Branch Cabell and Anatole France) and Harry Clarke (E. A. Poe and W. von Goethe), Denton (Songs of Bilitis), S. H. Sime (Dunsany and Machen).
I would love to hear more about the illustrators and editions mentioned - as well as any more I have surely left out.
There is a fairly cheap copy still out there if anyone wants one. I have spared anyone who might of having to suffer Bibliodisia Books.
I have found a wonderful bookstore out my way which I have been mining a little excessively - and came up with, among other excesses, a copy of Maurice Sandoz's The Maze, with pen and ink illustrations by Dali.
This fascinating book is an occult history with chapters about Rama, Krishna, Hermes, Moses, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, and Jesus. It contains descriptions of the initiation rites of the cults of Eleusis and Isis.
Delvilles "Satan's Treasures" is believed to have been inspired by Schure's description of the initiation rite of the cult of Isis.
I guess my question is, are there art books (books with illustrations/pictures of paintings and such) about these illustrators or do I mostly just have to find old books to get copies of works by these folks?
I went out yesterday and found a used copy of the Walter Crane book mentioned above. I was also able to find an art book of one of the artist mentioned, but that was it...
I may have to pick up a hideous kessinger copy. My eyes are beginning to burn.
Ah, but I see you have this. Well, for others then...
5>But Willy Pogany is the best! A master of many styles, he created some of the most beautiful books ever - acquire them!
I only have his drawing instruction book The Art of Drawing which is the only book of his I know that is currently in print -could you mention a few worthy volumes this gentleman has illustrated?
go to bpib.com and look thru Jim V's "illustrators" section; you'll find 2 parts on Pogany with examples of some of his work - Coleridge, Wagner, Mother Goose. . .
I'll probably put up a few more prints before I get bored with them.
Here's a link to the gallery having the Kubin Exhibition.
I will assume you are speaking of the dealer....
He published lavishly illustrated editions of the naughtier classics through Fanfrolico press. I have a beat-up copy of Satyricon, and an indifferent quality reprint of his Lysistrata - given the money, I'd love to build up a proper collection of these, and a few of the limited edition prints available from the museum.
Another name that should perhaps be mentioned here is Frank C. Pape, who created beautiful illustrated editions of the works of Anatole France, James Branch Cabell and Rabelais. He doesn't seem that well represented on the web, but you can get a flavour here:
Russell is also a writer. Among the titles he authored and decorated is Sophie's Dream book, described as "the first erotic pop-up book" (facile comment strangled at birth). I'd love to see his books available for purchase!
"'Madame Yna Majeska, artist and decorator - Mme Yna Majeska, designer and book illustrator, died yesterday at her home, 101 West Fifty-fifth Street. She was 68 years old, and she was married to Ephraim ADIRS. Mme Majeska once was costume designer for the Ziegfeld Follies and movie producer Cecil B. DeMille, and she received her professional training in Europe. She started in her youth as a dancer, then she turned to character art, and many of her drawings were published in Vanity Fair magazine. In recent years, Madame Majeska also designed jewelry. She leaves in addition to her husband, three children from a previous marriage, Alexander and Paul Dannenbaum and mrs. Maryann Laucheim '. "
Full article: http://politiken.dk/debat/kroniker/article160839.ece
Another illustrator worth mentioning is Elinore Blaisdell, who, among other things, provided the decadent illustrations for 1928 Medusa Head press editiopn of The Complete Poems of Ernest Dowson.
(Apologies if this has already been listed here. I just didn't want to forget about it.)
I'm happy to boast that I already own a very nice copy of Carter's Dragon of the Alchemists, but I'm delighted to be pointed to the convenient bank of scans! I'm sure I'll find repeated use for those images now that they're so handy.
The Outlandish Art of Mahlon Blaine
BookStopsHere, what did you think of the book? If you liked it, could I persuade you to put a review on Amazon?
BTW, I'm the editor if you haven't guessed already.
and Dora Carrington.
LRF was spanish and worked in London. Fantastic nudes. Also from wiki "Maud Harvey sued Falero for paternity. The suit alleged that Falero seduced Harvey when she was 17 first serving as his housemaid, and then model. When he discovered she was pregnant, he dismissed her. She won the case and was awarded five shillings per week in support of their child."
DC was close to Lytton Strachey and committed suicide a few months after his death.
Book tag not working so:
#62-63: Along those lines I would nominate Charles Burns.
#64: I've got to check that out too.
#56: The Mahlon Blaine collection, way above, looks great.
John White Alexander
Some examples on my profile gallery.
I almost spilled my coffee!
You'd think it would lose it's shock after 150 years. Evidently not!
Maybe a group pic gallery?
Okay, so maybe I was inspired to post it because the top one reminds me of Ben's profile pic... de-skinned.
I wonder how much they sold the book for...
91. Do you suppose they'd mind if I kiped just one or two, once in awhile?
You're starting to look like Dorian Gray's portrait. ;-)
But I am thinking of trying eggplant masks at night - the sole virtue of that apple of nightshade being the amelioration of crow's feet (maybe I'm supposed to smoke them?).
I'd hardly call him a decadent, but his humor is a bent and curdled look at suburbia. One should also keep in mind the pop cultural exegeses of Zippy the Pinhead, especially Zippy's gnostic meditations on roadside attractions and the latest pop trends.
I came to Redmeat via "The Onion," the newspaper of choice for modern-day flaneurs and the intellectual hobo-ocracy.
And, a little more on topic, Charles Burns.
Does Decadent literature from Protestant authors actually exist? No wonder Pound put John Calvin in Hell. All the fires and torture must have driven that anal retentive French lawyer nuts.
John Calvin: "No, ziss must go! Too showy! Le Lake of Fay-uhr is zimbolick! Ow!"
Beelzebub: "Shut up, Johnny Boy, and give those antipopes a hand on the dung mountain over there."
Dr. Hook even wrote a song about it:
(John Trubee IS the man)
If you don't recognize Daisy, you weren't in Berkeley in the 60's.
More contemporary decadent talents are Vania Zouravliov and Takato Yamamoto.
you can't have too much Clarke - and his stained glass is wonderful
I was looking through a friend's loose leaf collection of reproductions (mostly medieval) when Clarke surprised me. This looks like the book to get:
Anyone know if Blaine and Smith crossed paths?
Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863-1944), The Absinthe Drinkers, 1890. Pastel on canvas, 58 x 96 cm.
Early stage of wastage. Look how stiff are those collars.
The salafist/Lincoln jowl shrubbery chafes the eye a bit (undoubtedly the motive behind the other drinker's disdainful fixation on his glass). I have never understood the thought behind forgoing (what seems to me) the concomitant upper-lip valance. It doesn't seem right, and certainly isn't lovely.
Stanislaw Wyspianski, dead of syphilis at 38, autoportrait:
His Secessionist (Art Nouveau) religious stained glass is especially interesting:
Here are a few links:
Also of interest here is the work of Fidus (Hugo Reinhold Karl Johann Höppener) and Le Poitevin (Eugène Modeste Edmond Poidevin). Blue Faun publications featured their (etc.) grotesques in its 1929 translation of Remy de Gourmont's "Colours".
Alastair - Kunst als Schicksal - edited by Ines J Engelmann (Halle: Stiftung Moritzburg, 2004)
The essays are in German (which I can't read though google-translate seems to indicate they are good) but has a lot of (80-90?) images many of which I've never seen before. There are also some great photos of Alastair himself in all his finery.
They came from a private collection 'discovered' by a museum in their archive, and now returned to the family of the original owners who had 'lost' them due to the Nazi's seizing them. I think the show was the images swansong in the public eye.
Reproduction is a bit small but really excellent quality; the bet I have seen to date outside the original editions.
I got a copy through ebay.de for about 18 Euros. A bargain!
It's a big exhibition, taking around 2 hours to go round, but unavoidably the exhibits are nearly all small ink drawings or prints. And because Beardsley drew for printed reproduction there isn't a great sense of discovery in seeing the originals. One thing that does come through is just how fast his stye was changing - the "classic" Bearsdsley style just relatively brief stage before moving onto the Attic Greek erotica and the dense 18th-century rococo.
If you don't have a background in the British fine and applied commercial arts worlds of the last quarter of the 19th Century there's perhaps not enough material to put Beardsley in context. There's also a section at the end showing Beardsley's influence (including a couple of pieces each by Alistair and by Harry Clarke; a pair of ham-fisted early forgeries; and Gerald Scarfe's 1967 portrait of Beardsley, anus facing the viewer full-on, modestly hidden behind some drapes. Oh there's an early Picasso sketch too.
The accompanying books has reproductions of I think everything in the exhibition (inevitably some rather small, including one early piece which I found interesting because it wasn't quite like anything else - a style he quickly passed through, but the dynamic figure drawing reminded me of Winsor McCay, of all people. There are some interesting essays, including Beardsley's posthumous influence ON Japan (not vice versa), and on Russia, which was all news to me.
I already had the book that accompanied the 1998 V&A exhibition and of course it covers much the same ground with fewer reproduced artworks, but there is more text - it's a book about the artist rather than an exhibition catalogue with introductory essays.
The most comprehensive book I've seen, when it comes to the artworks, is the book that came out to capitalise on the 1966 exhibition: Beardsley by Brian Reade (later reissued as "Aubrey Beardsley" it seems).
Is there a portrait of Beardsley by Alastair in the show?
I swear that I saw one fleetingly on the Tate video regarding the exhibition but I viewed it again yesterday and it wasn't there. Perhaps my decadent lifestyle is deranging my brain and it was just a fantasy, but if you know different...
I didn't recall seeing such a portrait in the exhibition. If there is one, it would have been in the last section "After Beardsley" with the Scarfe portrait and '60s LP covers and so on.
The tie-in book doesn't reproduce absolutely everything from the show - although the crude forgeries are the only omissions I noticed. It reproduces three pieces by Alastair (too small to pick out details, so don't buy it for these alone!): "Salome with Luisa Casati in the role of Salome", "Mlle de Maupin" and "Marchesa Luisa Casati".
Just had another look at the Tate video, and I didn't spy an Alastair portrait, I'm afraid.
I hope it isn't time to swap the absinthe for Mellow Birds instant coffee just yet...
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