6
Idéistes

ROSE + CROIX

Six months after Aurier gave his definition of symbolist painting in the Mercure, there appeared in Le Figaro the manifesto of an artistic programme similarly disdainful of both realism and the Academy. Its author, Joséphin Péladan, critic and novelist (Le Vice supreme, I884), proclaimed that a work of art 'is more an operation of the soul than of the hand; man puts into his creations the best that is in him, i.e., the immaterial; in the creation of a masterpiece — more than any study and effort — there enters mystery.' To further this Art (dedicated to beauty, dream, the past and tradition) Péladan announced the creation of a new salon, the Salon de la Rose + Croix. Its opening exhibition (March 1892) included more than seventy-five artists and attracted over 1,000 people to a vernissage that was preceded by a mass at Saint Germain l'Auxérrois, and at which passages from Parsifal were played, and Erik Satie performed a trumpet fanfare he specially composed for the occasion.

The Sâr Péladan had grown up in Lyons, the son and brother of occultist, firmly Christian believers. A trip to Rome and Florence in I88I had given him the revelation of the Latin tradition in painting, especially the Florentine primitives, and in his reviews of the Paris Salons during the eighties he called for the revival of an Italianate art, linear in style, imaginative in subject, to replace the vulgarities of the painterly and the realistic which had come to dominate French art. Opposed as he was to any northern influences in painting (they had largely contributed to the decline) he had nevertheless been given — on a pilgrimage to Bayreuth in 1888 — the further revelation of the music and the message of Wagner.

The purpose of the Rose + Croix esthétique (an extension of the more directly religious Rose + Croix du Temple) was 'to restore the cult of the IDEAL in all its splendour, with TRADITION as its base and BEAUTY as its means ... To ruin realism, reform latin

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Symbolism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Symbolism *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword *
  • 1 - Introduction *
  • 2 - From Synthetism to Symbolism *
  • 3 - Suggestion, Mystery, Dream *
  • 4 - Supernaturalism and Naturalism *
  • 5 - Criticism and Theory *
  • 6 - Idéistes *
  • Abbreviations Used in Catalogue of Illustrations *
  • Catalogue of Illustrations Compiled by Kristin Murphy *
  • Index *
  • Icon Editions *
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