Illustrators of Decadence

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Illustrators of Decadence

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 17, 2008, 11:45 am

One more means I have come up with lately for preventing myself from learning to save a penny is through the compulsive gathering of illustrated books from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The books are illustrated in a manner that "complements" or, occasionally, surpasses the subject matter (no doubt to the joy of the pornesthetes who collect them).

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.

maaliskuu 17, 2008, 9:53 am

Ah - and, also, while there are a few still cheaply available, anyone who shares my mania might want to grab a copy of the Lapis Press edition of The Castle of Argol: decorated boards, bound in silk and illustrated (a fold-out insert).

maaliskuu 22, 2008, 10:24 am

You would probably enjoy The Decorative Illustration of Books by Walter Crane - originally published 1896, but more easily available in modern editions.

maaliskuu 31, 2008, 11:00 am

I have put it on my hit list. Thank you!

huhtikuu 1, 2008, 10:52 am

ah, Harry Clarke - beautiful stuff - and Crane a bit uneven, but can be quite wonderful. You might also like Ricketts, Beerbohm, Delville, Klinger, Jan Toorop, Von Stuck, Khnopff, Levy-Dhumer or Simeon Solomon - all have done beautiful work. But Willy Pogany is the best! A master of many styles, he created some of the most beautiful books ever - acquire them! Be careful not to drool on them. Of course, Norman Lindsay has his moments and William Russell Flint, tho not what I would call decadent, is a superb illustrator

huhtikuu 2, 2008, 8:58 am

Who is Crane? What did he illustrate? Yes yes and yes on others, but did von Stuck, Delville, etc. also illustrate books? (If so, which?) I know that Felicien Rops illustrated Barbey-d'Aurilly's Les Diaboliques.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 2, 2008, 9:22 am

I have not yet felt compelled to read Hector France's The Grip of Desire, but it contains a generous sampling of some of Mahlon Blaine's best drawings. From a creepy - debauched perspective, the illustrations are on par with those included in Hanns Heinz Ewers Alraune and The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Oddly, none of the web sites dedicated to Blaine that I have found include any mention of this novel.

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.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 2, 2008, 11:13 am

Here is a link some may find of interest, regarding the illustration of books. There is also a good bit of focus on the writings of Frederick Rolfe by his biographer, Donald Weeks, and others.

huhtikuu 2, 2008, 12:33 pm

An abundance of information on Hector France does not seem to exist on the web, but I did find this, which bumps The Grip of Desire up a slot on the reading list:

huhtikuu 5, 2008, 1:26 am

Walter Crane wrote the above referenced title on book illustrating (very nicely) and did lots of books himself - mostly nouveau stylings. Delville, Von Stuck, etc not so much book people, but illustrators of "literary" subjects. Check out Jim Vadeboncoeur's ( site on illustrators, including Pogany, Blaine, Sime, Clarke and lots more - while there take a look at the IMAGES volumes that he produces - fabulous turn of the century illos (I most highly recommend!)

huhtikuu 7, 2008, 10:23 am

Thank you for that (reminder and great site). Yes, we had all of those up at one time or another - Delville and his Parsifal, his androgyne Jesus - and Stuck and his ladies and all those snakes... delightful stuff.

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.

huhtikuu 7, 2008, 3:24 pm

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 2, 2008, 11:16 pm

I recently acquired a copy of The Great Initiates- A Study Of The Secret History of Religions By Edouard Schure. This book was first published in Paris in 1889 and is said to have inspired some of Jean Delville's paintings, in particular "Satan's Treasures" and "The School Of Plato".
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.

huhtikuu 24, 2008, 9:08 am

Thank you for the lead, David! It reminds me - I keep meaning to read the treatise by "Alcofribus Nasier", The Three Impostors - about the founders of the world's most notorious cults. And I have meant for years to explore its link with the title it links to here.

huhtikuu 25, 2008, 11:54 am

When I read this thread yesterday it got me interested in the topic...

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...

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 2008, 4:05 pm

I know that there are illustrated biographies of Harry Clarke, Mahlon Blaine and Beresford Egan, but they are pricey. Alastair: Illustrator of Decadence is a good buy - check Amazon or ABE. I picked up a copy for under $4.

huhtikuu 25, 2008, 3:08 pm

Thank you...

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 6, 2008, 4:42 am

14. Fascinating document! Thankyou! I found it online at this url.

I may have to pick up a hideous kessinger copy. My eyes are beginning to burn.

elokuu 27, 2008, 12:07 pm

>6 Randy_Hierodule: Walter Crane - - was primarily active as an illustrator himself. Felicien Rops also illustrated most of the books by Josephin "Sar" Peladan -

Muokkaaja: elokuu 29, 2008, 3:55 pm

I would highly recommend The Amorous Drawings of the Marquis Von Bayros to anyone interested in this kind of art. I think I picked up my copy from the above mentioned Jim Vadeboncoeur, although I've seen it on sale on eBay as well. An excellent draftsmen with a terrific sense of design who is fairly fearless in his dealings with decadent erotic material.

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?

elokuu 29, 2008, 5:16 am

>21 arthurfrayn: Pogany's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland are stunning. Hard to track the right edition of course.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 29, 2008, 10:00 am

Just got my copy of vols 1 &2 of The Amorous Drawings of the Marquis Von Bayros. Naughty stuff. Mine even came with an inscription "Found in the bottom drawer of Dr...'s file cabinet (reminds me of Zappa's "Dirty Love": the book is exactly "like some tacky little pamphlet in your Daddy's bottom drawer").

elokuu 29, 2008, 11:35 am

>21 arthurfrayn:
go to 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. . .

elokuu 29, 2008, 11:54 am

The images I have put up the last couple of days are prints from the wood engravings of Henry Chapront, illustrating the 1922 Éditions Mornay Monsieur de Phocas: Astarte, by Jean Lorrain. Here's a link to a discussion of Chapront's work and that of others, close in spirit if not in time:

I'll probably put up a few more prints before I get bored with them.

syyskuu 8, 2008, 1:54 am

As a note of interest, here is a NY Times article from Sunday's paper about a new exhibit of drawings by the author of The Other Side, Alfred Kubin.

syyskuu 8, 2008, 2:16 am

syyskuu 8, 2008, 9:29 am

Thank you. This will teach me to go through more than the review of books before I recycle the paper. The book on amazon looks reasonable as well.

syyskuu 10, 2008, 2:57 pm

Thankyou Makifat. I didn't know the catalogue had become available.

Here's a link to the gallery having the Kubin Exhibition.

huhtikuu 7, 2009, 4:46 pm

John Austen is worth seeking out as well. His most "decadent" work came early on, in the 20s, iwith his illustrations for Hamlet. The edition of Norman Douglas's South Wind, illustrated by Austen, is beautiful and not too expensive (as opposed to Hamlet). Same goes for the 1925 Chapman & Hall edition of Everyman.

huhtikuu 7, 2009, 5:04 pm

Austen also did the illustrations for The Collected Tales of Pierre Louys published in 1930 by Argus Books. I recently found this in a dirty bookstore cleverly disguised as a secondhand shop on the main drag in Salt Lake City. The proprietor gave it to me for 15 bucks and a promise to keep my mouth shut.

huhtikuu 7, 2009, 5:06 pm


huhtikuu 8, 2009, 9:11 am

Thank you! I will have to check that one out.

huhtikuu 8, 2009, 9:14 am

Bookdealers are snaky breed - so in this instance take heart: everyone loves a rat!

huhtikuu 8, 2009, 10:25 am

everyone loves a rat!

I will assume you are speaking of the dealer....

huhtikuu 8, 2009, 11:17 am

... and there I was assuming the universality of 1930s US underworld slang. Re your "oops".

huhtikuu 9, 2009, 10:50 am

Seems like Austen also illustrated Moll Flanders. Slightly less pricy than the Louys.

helmikuu 17, 2010, 11:17 am

helmikuu 26, 2010, 8:51 am

Mahlon Blaine's Nova Venus is back in print:

maaliskuu 8, 2010, 8:05 pm

Interesting Beardsley site:

huhtikuu 4, 2010, 6:24 am

I'm very fond of the etchings of the Australian artist Norman Lindsay.

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.

huhtikuu 4, 2010, 9:03 am

Great link! I will have to dig out my copy of the Lysistrata.

huhtikuu 4, 2010, 9:09 am

The illustrator Beresford Egan wrote several novels of Ewers-esque decadence well worth tracking down. I can recommend Pollen and But the Sinners Triumph - both illustrated by the author.

huhtikuu 5, 2010, 12:22 pm

Thanks, Ben! I was aware of the Tartarus Press book on Beresford Egan, but it somehow hadn't quite sunk in that he was a novelist as well as an illustrator. Must investigate his writing.

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:

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 19, 2010, 8:39 pm

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 2, 2010, 10:33 am

Here is a link to a contemporary artist, David Russell. While I'm not certain he can or would care to be captured as "an illustrator of decadence", he is in company with Rops, Bayros, Egan and Mahlon Blaine - blending the erotic with elements of myth and the occult (and he's on LT):

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!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 2, 2010, 10:46 am

Wiltold Gordon's is a name I should have (had I known it) listed in my first post here. In his Art Deco phase, he did a few pieces that show the influence of the decadence: He also did book illustrations (e.g.: the dustjacket of Paul Morand's Lewis and Irene.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 18, 2010, 12:13 pm

If anyone knows Danish and would care to improve on Google, please do - but here is (or appears to be) some biographical information on the mysterious Majeska:

"'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:

toukokuu 15, 2010, 11:16 pm

toukokuu 27, 2010, 8:57 am

toukokuu 31, 2010, 9:27 pm

John Smith of the inestimable Side Real press called my attention to Jean de Bosschere. Bosschere, like Beresford Egan, was both an author and an illustrator; much of his work, likes Egan's was in the decadent/symbolist style (and on the Fortune Press - which I believe published a volume devoted to his illustrations).

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.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 22, 2010, 12:48 pm

Pour ceux qui lisent le français, voici un intérresant essai de blog (can I do that?) sur les romains décadents du romancier/illustrateur belge, Jean de Bosschère:

kesäkuu 23, 2010, 2:21 pm

I don't know if Frederick Carter counts as "decadent", but he did some nice magical illustrations. See the introduction by Arthur Machen.

(Apologies if this has already been listed here. I just didn't want to forget about it.)

kesäkuu 23, 2010, 2:28 pm

Fantastic! Thanks! Next paycheck locked on target.

kesäkuu 23, 2010, 4:01 pm

> 53

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.

heinäkuu 3, 2010, 12:28 am

A new 456 page book (Dec 2009) on Blaine's illustrations is available on Lulu.

The Outlandish Art of Mahlon Blaine

heinäkuu 3, 2010, 9:42 am

Thanks, but actually, it seems that it isn't - the link comes up with "This Product Is Not Available" in red. Don't know if it's just sold out?

heinäkuu 3, 2010, 9:47 am

Lulu's print-on-demand, I believe. So "sold out" shouldn't apply.

heinäkuu 3, 2010, 10:10 am

book is out - amazon will ship promptly (mine arrived)

heinäkuu 4, 2010, 2:57 am

Soukesian, if that link doesn't work for you try this one...

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.

Brian Hunt

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 12, 2010, 4:15 pm

A couple of recent discoveries: Luis Ricardo Falero
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.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 8, 2010, 12:26 am

Again, perhaps not decadent in the strict sense of the term, but I don't see how alt cartoonist Al Columbia's recent collection Pim & Francie could do anything but appeal to a decadent minded sensibility. Cankered cartoons, indeed.

Book tag not working so:

lokakuu 18, 2010, 9:17 am

An odd suggestion for another illustrator of decadence, Gary Panter His Jimbo's Inferno and Jimbo in Purgatory are great postmodern adaptations of Dante's work.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 18, 2010, 12:03 pm

Another of interest: John Vassos, who illustrated Wilde's Ballad of Reading Gaol. Dover has an affordable copy of his Phobia: An Art Deco Graphic Masterpiece, originally published by one of our favorite Chicago presses of the genre, Covici Friede.

lokakuu 21, 2010, 2:17 pm

#62: Looks quite interesting
#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.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 22, 2010, 7:19 pm

3 recent finds are:
Carlos Schwabe
John White Alexander
Theodore Roussel

Some examples on my profile gallery.

marraskuu 21, 2010, 8:49 pm

Another Falero on my pic gallery; Falero - Cave_of_the_storm_nymphs_1903

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 6, 2010, 8:46 am

Evidently Courbet's - Origin of the World 1866 has been shocking people for almost 150 years! Must be a record of some sort. It has an interesting history.

joulukuu 6, 2010, 10:09 am

Whoa! Careful what you click on first thing in the morning!

I almost spilled my coffee!

joulukuu 6, 2010, 10:26 am

You'd think it would lose it's shock after 150 years. Evidently not!

joulukuu 6, 2010, 10:30 am

Oh, it's lovely. I would characterize it as sensual rather than decadent. It's just that I wasn't expecting a bearded fellow with a vertical smile so early in the morning. Next time I'll put my glasses on first!

joulukuu 6, 2010, 10:59 am

It's the 2nd most popular painting at the Musee D'Orsay.

joulukuu 6, 2010, 11:26 am

What's the first? "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Penis"?

joulukuu 6, 2010, 11:39 am

No. That's 3rd or 4th.

joulukuu 7, 2010, 4:20 pm

Well, HELLO!....

joulukuu 7, 2010, 5:10 pm

Ben, I believe you know Colonel Angus...

joulukuu 7, 2010, 6:58 pm

Welcome to Ben Waugh's Sport's Bar ;)

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 7, 2010, 8:16 pm

When was it decided we can no longer have images featured in the groups? Someone wasn't getting a cut?

joulukuu 7, 2010, 8:38 pm


I have no idea. How strange!

joulukuu 7, 2010, 11:06 pm

There's a discussion about images for groups here
Maybe a group pic gallery?

joulukuu 8, 2010, 7:47 am

Wake me when it's over.

joulukuu 9, 2010, 2:50 pm

It took a minute for me to figure out the pic situation and realize they had disappeared off groups I'd created. I've always thought benwaugh's group pics were excellent.

joulukuu 19, 2010, 1:20 pm

Group picture seems to be back, and Master ben is on top of it.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 19, 2011, 2:37 pm

Two terrific illustrations for Mirbeau's Le jardin de supplice, 1927

Okay, so maybe I was inspired to post it because the top one reminds me of Ben's profile pic... de-skinned.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 19, 2011, 5:04 pm

I am speechless. How about that headboard?

tammikuu 19, 2011, 6:23 pm

The peacock in the picture or the picture-as-headboard? And that's the one (illustration) that was refused for publication.

I wonder how much they sold the book for...

tammikuu 20, 2011, 5:43 pm

My profile pic was the young and streamlined self. The illustration is a very close resemblance of where things stand currently, taking into account, as it does, the caustic effects of 20+ years of living la dolce vita.

tammikuu 21, 2011, 11:56 am

87: So you look like the protagonist of Fantazius Mallare? In our age of vanity and health, one could probably fetch a sizable fan base with a "Fantazius Mallare South Beach Diet" One has to look fit and lean for the imminent apocalypse.

tammikuu 21, 2011, 3:37 pm

Apocalypse did you say? Coming down fast, and how! Attend ye to the prophet of the obsessive/diminished attention span:

tammikuu 21, 2011, 3:46 pm

It must be true, since both the title and the author are trademarked. What truer sign of being under the dominion of Satan? That and barcodes and not buying Amway

tammikuu 21, 2011, 4:43 pm

May I mention, to those of you that may not have yet thought of it, that the illustrations of these artists can be easily found by entering a name in the Images function of the Google Search page.

tammikuu 21, 2011, 6:09 pm

90. Joel is the under the dominion of his own very unique daemon.

91. Do you suppose they'd mind if I kiped just one or two, once in awhile?

tammikuu 21, 2011, 6:55 pm

Still kiping away, Ben?
You're starting to look like Dorian Gray's portrait. ;-)

tammikuu 22, 2011, 8:35 pm

Me, never. Bad juju.

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?).

maaliskuu 15, 2011, 10:54 pm

Recently read The Evil Garden by Edward Gorey via Early Reviewers. A delightfully short read, balanced between the macabre and the whimsical, with Victorian stock characters getting eaten by plants and beasts. All set down to rhyming couplets one would find in nursery rhymes.

maaliskuu 16, 2011, 2:04 pm

Great, now I have to look up Max Cannon.

maaliskuu 16, 2011, 3:49 pm

He has his own website:

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.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 16, 2011, 4:18 pm

Re Redmeat: Fantastic cartoon strip! I used to follow it fanatically in the City Paper years ago (I was also a fan of Buddy Hickerson's "Mr. Vengeance" and David Lynch's "The Angriest Dog in the World"). Sweet nostalgia!

maaliskuu 16, 2011, 5:00 pm

I saw a collection of David Lynch's animation. An acquired taste, to be sure. Reminded me of Artaud's confrontational attacks on an audience, since the cartoon did everything possible to alienate and offend the audience.

I came to Redmeat via "The Onion," the newspaper of choice for modern-day flaneurs and the intellectual hobo-ocracy.

maaliskuu 17, 2011, 9:11 am

Here is a link to the David Lynch strip:

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 17, 2011, 12:05 pm

I now recall those both! You know what strip I really liked? Tony Millionaire's Maakies with Drinky Crow and the Sock Monkey. Beautifully drawn and a bit decadent, broadly construed. Now I see that in addition to a couple of animated series he has a blog that looks quite good -

And, a little more on topic, Charles Burns.

maaliskuu 22, 2011, 9:51 pm

Probably the funniest Red Meat 3-panel ever:

Not decadent, but people who read Wilde and Baudelaire and Lautreamont will understand the humor.

huhtikuu 4, 2011, 11:33 pm

lokakuu 5, 2011, 9:26 pm

I like the current art displayed in the Chapel quite a bit.

lokakuu 6, 2011, 12:11 am

Whoa, I hadn't even noticed! Looks like someone's about to get a cookie where the sun don't shine.

lokakuu 6, 2011, 12:13 am

104: Pope Benedict XVI has to do something on his off days.

lokakuu 6, 2011, 8:50 am

Really? Is there no reverence?

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 6, 2011, 10:17 am

104: It's all about succession to Peter.

lokakuu 6, 2011, 10:19 am

Another good one.

lokakuu 6, 2011, 2:50 pm

107: I'll be revenent when the decadent swine in the ecclesiarchy give up pederastry for Lent.

lokakuu 6, 2011, 3:57 pm

Bloody protestant.

lokakuu 7, 2011, 8:30 am

lokakuu 7, 2011, 10:26 am

111: The European Wars of Religion did create a lot of those. But I do enjoy Catholic literature, especially that of DAF Sade, Huysmans, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh ... not to mention Alexander Theroux and Anthony Burgess

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."

lokakuu 12, 2011, 1:04 am

Puritans would enjoy hell.

lokakuu 12, 2011, 12:15 pm

114: Given how most of them are caught in BDSM sex scandals, that would stand to reason.

Dr. Hook even wrote a song about it:

lokakuu 12, 2011, 5:26 pm

Elevator music on the long ride down:

lokakuu 12, 2011, 5:35 pm

lokakuu 12, 2011, 11:27 pm

lokakuu 13, 2011, 1:24 pm

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 4, 2011, 10:12 pm

Daisy the decadent duck.

If you don't recognize Daisy, you weren't in Berkeley in the 60's.

helmikuu 17, 2012, 8:46 pm

Alastair, Beardsley, Von Bayros are probably the best IMO. Giulio Aristide Sartorio also did some excellent work for D'Annunzio's novels. The wikipedia article of Pierre Louys is also a great (lazy) source of some pretty obscure illustrators:

More contemporary decadent talents are Vania Zouravliov and Takato Yamamoto.

tammikuu 4, 2013, 3:16 pm

Anyone who is interested in illustrated books of the decadent period/style should get a copy of the Calla Editions (Dover) reprint of Hamlet, illustrated by John Austen. These early drawings show a style strongly reminiscent of Beardsley and Clarke. The book itself is a sturdy and handsome hardcover reproduction of the 1922 edition.

maaliskuu 18, 2015, 3:57 pm

I was looking through some stained glass prints the other day and came upon the Irish illustrator Harry Clarke, trailing behind the full flush of decadence but sharing the sensibility:

maaliskuu 18, 2015, 3:58 pm

I'd be interested in an edition of Perrault's fairy tales with illustrations like these:

maaliskuu 18, 2015, 4:02 pm

"Mephisto", again with that striking aqua green (a signature hue maybe?):

maaliskuu 18, 2015, 4:19 pm

P.S. Just noticed Clarke was mentioned in >1 Randy_Hierodule: and then several other posts, but after seven years, I hope a refreshment isn't amiss.

maaliskuu 18, 2015, 11:43 pm

Calla has an available edition of the Perrault with Clarke's illos - decent value

you can't have too much Clarke - and his stained glass is wonderful

maaliskuu 19, 2015, 9:04 am

Thanks for the tip!

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:

maaliskuu 19, 2015, 10:18 am

Hello LW! Harry Clarke is wonderful. He was everywhere: Poe (I have an edition of Tales of Mystery and Imagination from the 30s that I take down to bore people with when they occasionally drop in) as well as stained glass. It is good to have a new purchase in view - thanks to you and #127.

maaliskuu 19, 2015, 12:48 pm

Hello, Ben! Sad to see how early he died.

maaliskuu 29, 2015, 8:35 pm

Animators of decadence? I grew up watching "Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors," a classic 80s cartoon involving evil plant aliens that turned into vehicles. Years later, I read Against Nature and Maldoror Somehow it all makes sense.

kesäkuu 19, 2015, 12:16 pm

Fans of Mahlon Blaine may be interested in his heavily illustrated "unauthorized autobiography", "ghost"-written by the foremost Blaine enthusiast, Roland Trenary:

kesäkuu 20, 2015, 7:55 am

Found The Art of Mahlon Blaine by Gershon Legman in the Clearance section of Half Price Books yesterday:

Not a bad find for $3.

kesäkuu 24, 2015, 10:57 am

Mahlon Blaine's work seems similar -- to the point of being uncanny -- of Wallace Smith, Ben Hecht's illustrator for Fantazius Mallare:

Anyone know if Blaine and Smith crossed paths?

kesäkuu 24, 2015, 1:17 pm

I agree that an affinity exists between many of the early drawings of Blaine and Smith's Fantazius drawings, but I've assumed that this had something to do with the influence of Aubrey Beardsley's drawings on both (and their generation) and the diabolic-decadent simularities of the books being illustrated. Regardless, it's unlikely that we'll ever know if their paths crossed given how little is actually known of Blaine's extant biography despite the efforts, "ghost-written" or otherwise, of Trenary, Legman, and others:

heinäkuu 6, 2015, 2:32 pm

Don't remember seeing this Munch before:

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.

heinäkuu 6, 2015, 3:29 pm

I will have to add those plain but appealing glasses to my equipage.

heinäkuu 6, 2015, 4:00 pm

Straight sided tumblers, bottom heavy... I use them for pastis and the few rum cocktails I like.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 6, 2015, 7:40 pm

In the 90s I loved practicing the concoction of original recipe mai-tais (Trader Vic), Bora Boras (some bartender at the Mai Kai), but now the luau shirts are in storage and I can only tolerate rum (due to bygone excessive practice) in the occasional mojito or caipirinha (reckoning cachaça as a species of cane spirits).

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.

heinäkuu 20, 2015, 6:24 pm

Stanislaw Wyspianski, dead of syphilis at 38, autoportrait:

His Secessionist (Art Nouveau) religious stained glass is especially interesting:

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 17, 2015, 3:33 pm

Simon Houfe, in Fin de Siècle: The Illustrators of the Nineties, tantalizingly mentioned (but never discussed or presented) the "macabre visions by that strange artist, W.T. Horton." English author and illustrator (1864-1919) William Thomas Horton believed his work was inspired by occult influences - a trait he shared with his friend and correspondent, W. B. Yeats. Horton is best known (to me) as the author/illustrator of A Book of Images and for his illustrations in the Leonard Smithers publication of Edgar Poe's The Raven; The Pit and the Pendulum.

Here are a few links:

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Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 21, 2016, 2:11 pm

I'm not certain whether or not I have posted this elsewhere, but it's very nice and comprehensive. As the internet continues to acquire consciousness, more and more wonders appear:

syyskuu 6, 2016, 5:08 pm

On Albert von Keller, and the occult:

huhtikuu 28, 2017, 3:39 pm

Might be worth mentioning Alfred Kubin: drawings ... ISBN 978-3791340944, in this context

toukokuu 3, 2017, 10:32 am

Indeed. I think we have discussed him elsewhere, but focus was likely on the novel. This post jogged me to track down a budget-friendly copy of his drawings (3869840145).

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".

toukokuu 4, 2017, 10:14 am

From Dover this Summer: The Life and Art of Alfred Kubin.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 28, 2018, 7:41 pm

kesäkuu 4, 2020, 6:15 pm

I'm on a big Baron Alastair kick (ok, more a gentle waver of my foot) at present, and discovered this exhibition catalogue from 2004:

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 for about 18 Euros. A bargain!


syyskuu 3, 2020, 7:36 pm

I went to the Aubrey Beardsley exhibition at Tate Britain last month. I thought I'd missed my chance because of the lockdown, but it's been extended to 20 September.

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).

syyskuu 5, 2020, 4:15 pm

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...
Quizzically yours,

syyskuu 5, 2020, 5:13 pm

>155 Siderealpress:

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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