Archive for December, 2010

Freya Goddess of Youth, 1910

The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Arthur Rackham, Freya Goddess of Youth, 1910



Bat Woman

Le nu d’or


penot - le nu dor

Pénot, a painter of the French school, painted genre scenes and interiors featuring nudes and church officials. He studied under the noted artist Gabriel Ferrier, who is represented in museums throughout France. A member of the Societaire des Artistes Francais from 1909 on, Penot exhibited successfully in the Paris Salons. There he was awarded an honorable mention in 1903 and a third place medal in 1908.

Salon de Paris postcard

the Snake, 1905

Albert-Joseph Pénot Salon de Paris postcard


Morbid female bodies, which recalls Bourgerois, charged with a delicate sensuality. Penot’s female figures are morbid femme fatale, with a taste of gothic and bizarre, as in the paintings “Bat-woman” and “Depart pur le Sabbat”, thus recalling the work and the style of Falero (here)

femme nue alongèe

Départ pour le Sabbat (Aufbruch zum Hexensabbat)

Femem nue allonge

Albert-Joseph Pénot Départ pour le Sabbat (Aufbruch zum Hexensabbat)

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Our Lady of the Cow Parsley

Autumn and Winter

Elizabeth Sonrel Our Lady of the Cow Parsley

Elizabeth Sonrel (French, 1874-1953,autumnElizabeth Sonrel (French, 1874-1953,winter 


Untitled (Barbara with eyes closed), c.1925-30

Untitled (Gunda, nude), 1922



Margaret Loke, The New York Times, 22 Febryary 2002:

The Austrian artist Artur Nikodem created personal work radically different from his public art. Publicly, Nikodem, who was born in 1870, produced color-drenched paintings that reflected the influence of Monet and Cézanne. Privately, he took strikingly modernist, spare photographs, possibly beginning during World War I when he became a telegraph officer and for a time was stationed in Turkey.
Nikodem the photographer kept that part of his creativity to himself, and it remained a secret for years after he died in 1940. His great-grandson, Martin Krulis, came across a cache of his photographs, most of them contacts printed from glass-plate negatives, and brought them to Robert Mann.
In the exhibition catalog, Monika Faber, a photography curator in Vienna, noted that Nikodem tested cameras and film for a friend, a photographic supplies dealer. His prints here are small, many 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches, with a few about 3 by 5 inches. Hung in a dim gallery, each image spotlighted, the 34 pictures raise the expectation that they are all of superb quality.
Many are exquisite, especially those of Barbara, a model who became his wife. Clothed or unclothed, she exudes a smoky sensuality all the more potent because Nikodem doesn’t distract with stylized poses or superfluous props. As if taking cues from Stieglitz vis-à-vis the majestic O’Keeffe, Nikodem made love to Barbara with his camera, taking marvelously casual pictures of her feet, her hands, her naked back, as she ate fruit or sat in a chair. But Nikodem’s sea and landscape shots of Turkey and rural Austria are nothing to write home about. The show would be stronger without them. Peering at Nikodem’s small prints, particularly his inspired portraits of people familiar to him, even his austere self-portrait, you might also wish the gallery had larger prints made. They wouldn’t be vintage, but they could be extraordinary.

Untitled (Barbara, feet and teddy), c.1925-30

Untitled (sitting nude), c.1920s



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Louis Welden Hawkins,
Autumn, c. 1895.
Oil on canvas.
Victor and Gretha Arwas collection

Louis Welden Hawkins,
A Veil. Pastel on paper.
Victor and Gretha Arwas collection.

Welden Hawkins 2 

Welden Hawkins 1


IT was about eight or nine years ago that the name of Lévy-Dhurmer began to make a stir in the art world. An exhibition which he held at the Georges Petit Galleries, comprising a collection of the work he had done during a period of ten years, attracted the attention of connoisseurs and since then every canvas he has produced has been welcomed as an interesting achievement. M. Lévy-Dhurmer has undoubtedly studied the methods of Leonardo, whose influence is especially noticeable in his early manner, and has sought the same forms of expression as the great Florentine. As remarked in an article on his work as a painter which appeared in THE STUDIO for February, 1897, it was from the. great Italian masters of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
that he acquired his love of the imaginative and the ideal.

The two women had fused into one

Lucien Levy-Dhurmer The two women had fused into one




Nevertheless modern art has had an unmistakable influence on the smile of the Circes and Naiades of his fantastic symbolisms, and the meaning is decidedly more degenerate. His paintings and pastels are generally one-figure studies; but the significance of each picture is conveyed as much by the background and surroundings as by the figure itself.



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Adolf Frey-Moock was born in Switzerland (in Jona, not Jena as often recorded) where he was apprenticed to learn the trade of decorative fresco painting in churches. After several months as a touring artisan (during which he painted the Schöne Brunnen in Nuremberg), he entered the Academy in Munich where he studied with Wilhelm Diez. Although he was one of the most loyal followers of Franz von Stuck, he was never a student of his. Instead, in 1909, he became a studio assistant of the hugely successful, recently ennobled master. In the 1930’s Frey-Moock lived in Nördlingen, then again in Munich, and eventually he returned to Switzerland.

Adolf Frey-Moock , Salomè (1910)

Franz von Stuck (Die Sünde,1892)


The sin by Franz von Stuck

The theme of Salome was much in the air in the decades between 1890 and 1910 (see also Lévy- Dhurmer in this catalogue). In 1904 Oscar Wilde’s play Salome was produced in Munich, followed shortly after by Richard Strauss’s operaSalome. In 1906 Franz von Stuck painted three versions of Salome (Voss 310), each showing Salome dancing, offering her nude body frontally, head twisted backwards over her shoulder. In preparation, Stuck or his wife Mary took a series of photographs of a model posing in front of a white canvas, stretched in a dark frame. The vertical columns of the dark frame, as it appears in the photo, might have been on Frey-Mook’s mind when he established the rigidly vertical figure of his Salome. He borrowed from Stuck the radiant head of John the Baptist, which in turn might have been inspired by Gustave Moreau’s Apparition of 1876. Frey-Moock’s color juxtaposition of dark shadows and glowing flesh are reminiscent of Stuck’s Sin (Die Sünde,1892), an omnipresent icon of the 1890’s to 1910’s (Stuck painted at least twelve versions of it). In fact, Stuck displayed Sin as an altar piece in the very studio where Frey-Moock was working as an assistant in 1906.

AK_12057495_kl_10015096 a001188487-001

Amazonen-Schlach (1920)

3720a 3720b 3720c


Carlos Schwabe is one of the earliest Symbolist artists who operated in Germany: he exhibits in particular at the Munich Secession in 1893. Swiss, of Germanic origin, essentially self-taught he is linked to the Symbolist circles in Paris. he represents the idealism of a special vision of symbolism, which he seeks as a sort of "regeneration".

His world is tinted a dark eroticism. This singular shell creatures, living in a strange world where the line – the line as the movement – is important. Tending towards the ideal or debauchery, his version of symbolist woman is extremely polarized. In 1892, he was asked by the Sar Péladan, great Master and main leader of the organization rosicrusienne mystic, to design the poster for the first Salon de la Rose Croix.

cartelweb rosecroixlithographie

The event is held in the famous Durand-Ruelgallery in Paris and exhibited several works of Schwabe, thus contributing to its success.

carlos schwabe Les femmes damnees damned women

More Symbolist femmes fatale, this time courtesy of Carlos Schwabe (1866–1926) and his illustrations for Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal from 1900. Schwabe is more usually represented by his mystically-inspired paintings and drawings, especially those he produced for the Salon de la Rose+Croix; on the strength of some of his Baudelairean pieces I’d say he’s a worthy companion to Félicien Rops.

Fleurs-du-mal_benediction Fleurs-du-mal_hymne 7

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