‘Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897’
“The visitor will discover many unfamiliar names among the painters represented” at the Guggenheim’s survey of symbolist painting from The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, writes Edmund White. “Some of these will enjoy a revival, based on their originality and talent. The strongest canvases are those by the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (The Disappointed Souls), Jean Delville (The Idol of Perversity), Henri Martin (Young Saint), Alphonse Osbert (Vision), and especially Charles Maurin (The Dawn of Labor). Hodler, usually associated with his mountainscapes, in this instance gives us five defeated-looking men, rendered with Michelangelesque muscularity. Hodler didn’t really have much in common with the others and he may have joined the group as an act of self-promotion. Delville’s Idol of Perversity has a radiant crown, trance-like eyes, dangerously pointy breasts—inarguably a fatal femme fatale. If she is pure evil, then Martin’s and Osbert’s young women are pure peasant good.”
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