The Maillol Museum investigates a mysterious and ghostly world
Published on 5 March 2020, dans Exhibitions and Museums
The tables are turning at the Musée Maillol with Spirit, Are You There? The Painters of the Beyond, which will be haunting the famous art museum in the 7th arrondissement from April 2nd to July 26th, 2020. Supernatural spirits and strange forces are invoked in this new look at the works of the spiritualist painters of the late-19th and early 20th centuries. There’s more than a ghost of a chance of discovering it during your spring stay at the Hôtel de l'Université!
The spiritualist movement; inspiration from the beyond
Emerging in the United States in the mid-19th century, the quasi-religious spiritualist movement fed into the interest of certain artists in life after death. At that time, communicating with the world of the deceased became a societal phenomenon that inspired people to draw or paint mystical works.
From the late-19th and into the 20th century, spiritualism spread across Europe and was taken up in intellectual circles. Surrealists like André Breton and Victor Brauner, the writers Victor Hugo and Arthur Conan Doyle and even the physicist Pierre Curie were drawn into the world of table turning, mediums and discarnate entities. In Pas-de-Calais, a coal miner called Augustin Lesage created his first painting after hearing what he considered to be spirit voices. He was soon joined in art’s twilight zone by Victor Simon and Fleury Joseph Crépin.
Behind the surprising paintings, invisible guides
Taking strange paths, Augustin Lesage, Victor Simon and Fleury Joseph Crépin developed a very particular form of spirit-inspired Art Brut. These three great painters and others are at the heart of the upcoming exhibition. A hundred works on loan from public and private collections are presented thematically and chronologically. These strange canvases will surprise you with their exceptional symmetries and attention to detail. The spiritualist painters found their inspiration in Christian, Hindu or Egyptian beliefs and so employed many architectural, floral and religious motifs.
Crédit photo : Bronzes d'Aristide Maillol, salle des sculptures au 2e niveau, Musée Maillol, Paris © Ibex73 - Wikimedia Commons
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