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"Method of this work:
literary montage.
I have nothing to say only to show."
(Passagenwerk (1927 - 1940) - Walter Benjamin)

2005, Sep 01; 19:53 ::: Status: archived

2005, Jun 08; 14:23 ::: Expo

Click the images to see more.

Presented to you by: Bosch - Grünewald - Hans Baldung Grien - Albrecht Dürer - Cranach - Bruegel - Leonardo Da Vinci - Botticelli - Michelangelo - Arcimbaldo - Caravaggio - Goya - Rembrandt - Rubens - Vermeer - William Blake - El Greco - Ingres - Burne-Jones - Gustave Moreau - Théodore Géricault - Eugène Delacroix - Gustave Doré - Gustave Courbet - Odilon Redon - Vincent van Gogh - Pierre Bonnard - Monet - Max Klinger - James Ensor - Klimt - Munch - Salvador Dali - Pablo Picasso - Marc Chagall

See also: fantastic - fantastique - fantasy - imagination - mind - grotesque - grotesque art

2005, Jun 08; 13:19 ::: Grotesque

Frescoes at the Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Italy

As far as I can say, the only grotesque image that vaguely looks like to the original Chimera is one that appears on the frescoes of the first courtyard of Palazzo Vecchio, in Firenze. Painted by Marco da Faenza around 1565, more than ten years after the Chimera of Arezzo was discovered, it is a creature with the body of a lion, a serpentine tail and the head of a goat. Not exactly a classic Chimera but you can't avoid to think that it may have been directly inspired by it (after all, the original Chimera of Arezzo was just upstairs at that time). But, as we said, that fresco was painted when the novelty of the discovery was still felt. In later years of the post-renaissance period there is no visible influence of the Chimera of Arezzo on European art. --http://www.unifi.it/unifi/surfchem/solid/bardi/chimera/figurativechimera/ [Jun 2005]

See also: grotesque - grotesque art

2005, Jun 08; 09:19 ::: Ernst Fuchs (1930 - )

Ernst Fuchs 30x23,5 1967
image sourced here. Ernst Fuchs 30x23,5 1967

2005, Jun 08; 09:19 ::: Le fantastique, visionary art, the occult in art, fantastic art

Les peintres du fantastique (1996) - André Barret [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

L'ouvrage présente le fantastique en six chapitres chronologiques. Le titre de chacun cerne le caractère propre à chaque période: Dieu et les démons; éclats et ombres de la Renaissance; l'âge classique et les harmonies de la raison; le tumulte des fastes baroques; le tourment romantique (passions et rêves); les visages changeants du 20e siècle (stridences, névroses et dérisions). --Amazon.fr

In English, le fantastique is referred to as visionary art, or less frequently, fantastic art. There is also a book which more or less treats the same subjects called The occult in art

The Occult in Art (1990) - Owen S. Rackleff [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

See also: fantastic - fantasy - fantastique - occult - grotesque - grotesque art - art

[...] Meanwhile, some Visionaries eluded the currents and fashions of painting in their own times, giving rise to such anachronistic 'Adam figures' as Goya - his solipsistic murals painted onto the walls of 'the house of the deaf man'; the unending vistas and landscapes of John Martin; Böcklin's Isle of the Dead; Fuseli's theatrical compositions; the light-infused etchings of Gustave Doré and - towering above them all - William Blake with his watercolours or etchings of the Ancient of Days, the Book of Job, the Last Judgement, and more - all accomplished with little or no recognition. -- http://visionaryrevue.com/webtext/longman1.html [Jun 2005]

See also: fantastic art - fantasy - fantastique - occult - grotesque - grotesque art

2005, Jun 07; 23:24 ::: Melodrama

At the Theater (The Melodrama) (c. 1860-64) - Honoré Daumier

unidentified painting illustrating 'lightweight' theatre

See also: music - drama - melodrama - theatre

2005, Jun 07; 21:15 ::: Douglas Sirk (1897 - 1987)

still from a Douglas Sirk film
image sourced here.

From brightlightsfilm.com
This is our first issue dedicated to a single director. Douglas Sirk was the logical choice. While not exactly a household word himself, some of his films were among the most famous of their time: Magnificent Obsession, Written on the Wind, Imitation of Life. Primarily dismissed as "women's pictures" or "melodramas" — hardly a reasonable approach — these and other Sirk films have withstood the test of time and are finally beginning to receive the attention due them. Some of Sirk's films are masterpieces of form, but even his worst films have something to recommend them. Perhaps sooner than we think we'll see TV Guide refer to Imitation of Life not as "a weepy" but as "one of Douglas Sirk's masterpieces." --Gary Morris via http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/48/sirkintro.htm [Jun 2005]

Douglas Sirk
Douglas Sirk (April 26, 1897 – January 14, 1987) was a German-born film director most well known for his work in Hollywood in the 1950s.

Hans Detlef Sierck was born in Hamburg, Germany and spread his education over three universities. He started his career in 1922 in the theatre of the Weimar Republic, including the direction of an early production of The Threepenny Opera. He joined UFA (Universum Film AG) in 1934, but left Germany in 1937. On arrival in the United States, he soon changed his Germanic name. By 1942 he was in Hollywood, directing the stridently anti-Nazi Hitler's Madman.

He made his name with a series of lush, colorful, formulaic melodramas for Universal-International Pictures from 1952 to 1958: Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows (preserved by the US National Film Registry), Written on the Wind, and Imitation of Life. But it was at the pinnacle of his high-profile accomplishments as Universal's most successful director that he left the United States and filmmaking. He died in Lugano, Switzerland nearly thirty years later, with only a brief and obscure return behind the camera in Germany in the 1970s.

His original reputation was of a competent creator of light-weight nonsense, but his work was re-examined after praise by British critics, writers of the French New Wave and the opinions of directors such as Rainer Fassbinder and, later on, Quentin Tarantino and Todd Haynes. His work is currently considered to show excellent control of the visuals, extending from lighting and framing to costumes and sets that are saturated with symbolism and shot through with subtle barbs of irony. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Sirk [Jun 2005]

Related articles: film - director - queer film - Pedro Almodóvar - Todd Haynes - François Ozon

2005, Jun 07; 19:17 ::: Test

2005, Jun 07; 16:52 ::: Russell Mulcahy

Razorback (1984) - Russell Mulcahy [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Highlander (1986) - Russell Mulcahy [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

2005, Jun 07; 16:33 ::: Highgate Cemetery, London

Highgate Cemetery, London
image sourced here.

See also: grave

2005, Jun 07; 14:22 ::: La grande anthologie du fantastique - Tome 1

La grande anthologie du fantastique - Tome 1 (1996) - JACQUES GOIMARD - STRAGLIATI ROLAND [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Le thème du délire,
Le Ruban bleu (William Irish)
Lettres de province (Tommaso Landolfi)
Le Rickshaw fantôme (Rudyard Kipling)
Sortilèges du fond des âges (Algernon Blackwood)
L’Œil et le Doigt (Donald Wandrei)
A la mémoire de Pauline (Adolfo Bioy Casares)
La Chemise de nuit bleu pâle (Louis Golding)
La Chambre au papier jaune (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
Qui sait? (Guy de Maupassant)
Froide pierre, calme pierre… (J.B.L. Goodwin)
L’Homme au Sable (E.T.A. Hoffmann)
Panique à la Scala (Dino Buzzati)
Les thèmes du rêve et du cauchemar
Ce qui se passa sur le pont d’Owl Creek (Ambrose Bierce)
La Jambe (Charles Asselineau)
La Pandora (Gérard de Nerval)
La Dernière Lettre du matelot (Georges Eekhoud)
Deux cent trente-sept portraits parlants (Fritz Leiber)
Les Trous du masque (Jean Lorrain)
La Femme du songe (William Wilkie Collins)
Le Serpent du rêve (Robert E. Howard)
Rêver, peut-être… (Charles Beaumont)
La Chambre dans la tour (E.F. Benson)
Le Rêve du docteur Misi$c$ (Ksaver Sandor Gjalski)
Lord Mountdrago (W. Somerset Maugham)
Effets d’un songe interrompu (Luigi Pirandello)
Juste un rêveur (Robert Arthur)
La Dernière Visite du gentilhomme malade (Giovanni Papini)
Un rêve (Ivan Tourgueniev)
Io (Oliver Onions)
Les aberrations de l’espace-temps
Arria Marcella (Théophile Gautier)
Gradiva (Wilhelm Jensen)
Fin d’un amour (Alain Dorémieux)
Le Diamant de l’herbe (Xavier Forneret)
L’Outil (W.F. Harvey)
Chaleur d’août (W.F. Harvey)
La Cour de Canavan (Joseph Payne Brennan)
Le Numéro 13 (M. R. James)
Ouvrir la porte (Arthur Machen)
La Ruelle ténébreuse (Jean Ray)
Les Rêves dans la maison de la sorcière (H.P. Lovecraft)
La Chambre perdue (Fitz James O’Brien)
Escamotage (Richard Matheson)
Le thème du double
L’Etonnante Histoire de Peter Schlemihl (Adalbert von Chamisso)
Les Aventures de la nuit de la Saint-Sylvestre (E.T.A. Hoffmann)
L’Ombre (Hans Christian Andersen)
Monsieur le Juge Harbottle (Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu)
La Mascarade de Howe (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
Le Dernier Tireur (Arthur Conan Doyle)
William Wilson (Edgar Allan Poe)
Le Coin plaisant (Henry James)
Bonne nuit, Mr. James! (Clifford Simak)
Dictionnaire des auteurs
Index des nouvelles

2005, Jun 07; 14:09 ::: What is Surrealism?

Have professed absolute surrealism: Messrs. Aragon, Baron, Boiffard, Breton, Carrive, Crevel, Delteil, Desnos, Eluard, Gérard, Limbour, Malkine, Morise, Naville, Noll, Péret, Picon, Soupault, Vitrac.

There followed an enumeration that will gain, I think, by being clearly set out thus:

Young's Night Thoughts are surrealist from cover to cover. Unfortunately, it is a priest who speaks; a bad priest, to be sure, yet a priest.
Heraclitus is surrealist in dialectic.
Lully is surrealist in definition.
Flamel is surrealist in the night of gold.
Swift is surrealist in malice.
Sade is surrealist in sadism.
Carrier is surrealist in drowning.
Monk Lewis is surrealist in the beauty of evil.
Achim von Arnim is surrealist absolutely, in space and time
Rabbe is surrealist in death.
Baudelaire is surrealist in morals.
Rimbaud is surrealist in life and elsewhere.
Hervey Saint-Denys is surrealist in the directed dream.
Carroll is surrealist in nonsense.
Huysmans is surrealist in pessimism.
Seurat is surrealist in design.
Picasso is surrealist in cubism.
Vaché is surrealist in me.
Roussel is surrealist in anecdote. Etc.

-- André Breton, from a lecture given in Brussels on 1st June 1934 at a public meeting organised by the Belgian Surrealists, and issued as a pamphlet immediately afterwards

see also: surrealism - André Breton

2005, Jun 07; 13:37 ::: Monsù Desiderio

King Asa of Juda Destroying the Idols () - Monsù Desiderio

François de Nomé
(b. 1593, Metz, d. 1644, Napoli)

It is only in recent years that the mysterious painter called "Monsù Desiderio" has been separated into two artists who collaborated: Didier Barra (1590-c. 1644) and François de Nomé, both from Metz, Lorraine. Didier Barra usually painted topographical views, chiefly of Naples. François de Nomé was the more adventurous of the two, concentrating on the bizarre. Both painters spent their entire careers in Naples but never assimilated any local influences; they both retained a form of archaising mannerism of a similar type to that of Claude Deruet. At their best, François de Nomé's pictures excite by their power of expression, even though they seem flagrantly to disobey almost every rule of art. --http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/Biographies/MainBiographies/N/nome/nom%E9.htm

see also: http://www.latribunedelart.com/Expositions_2004/Monsu_Desiderio_166.htm [Jun 2005]

2005, Jun 07; 13:03 ::: Quo Vadis? (1912) - Enrico Guazzoni

Quo Vadis? (1912) - Enrico Guazzoni

Quo Vadis (1912 movie) - An Italian silent version, starring Amelia Cattaneo, Carlo Cattaneo, Lea Giunghi and Giovanni Gizzi. Adapted and directed by Enrico Guazzoni. Often mentioned as the first successful feature-length motion picture, and the inspiration for D. W. Griffith to make The Birth of a Nation. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quo_vadis [Jun 2005]

Contemporary accounts reported that in a scene in an arena where lions were eating "Christians" (actually dummies stuffed with raw meat to entice the lions to eat them), one of the lions suddenly turned and pounced into a crowd of nearby extras. It grabbed one man and dragged him back to where the other lions were feasting on the "bodies". By the time the lion's trainer grabbed a rifle and shot the animal, it had already killed and began to eat the unlucky extra. Although the incident was caught on film, there was a question as to whether it was actually used in the movie itself; the producers said it wasn't, some of the actors who later saw the completed film said it was. Since no copy of it is known to exist at present, there is no way to know. via imdb.com

Probably the first feature film (over 60 min.) ever, this movie has gigantic sets that rival those of movies made years later. All camera shots are stationary, but this doesn't seem to take away from the story much. The story is fairly close to the book with a few liberties--definitely closer than the 1951 version. Obviously the idea of writing a full-length feature film still needed some work. Characters are simply introduced doing things as though the viewer already knows them. St. Peter steals the show in the last half. He's got some great scenes. An important film to watch for anyone who wants to see early breakthroughs in cinema. It's also a good study of early Christianity in cinema. --brjohn from Washington, DC via imdb.com

see also: Quo Vadis? (1912) [imdb] - 1912

2005, Jun 07; 11:53 ::: Silent horror

Haxan (Witchcraft Through the Ages) (1922) - Benjamin Christensen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

L'horreur cinématographique est apparue dès les débuts du cinéma sans toutefois le revendiquer. Sous prétexte de vérité historique ou documentaire, le cinéma muet nous a donné des films avec des scènes horrifiques étonnantes dans le contexte de l'époque:

    - "Une mort de Marie Stuart" de Edmon Khun en 1893: On y voit la première décapitation à l'écran; c'est celle de la reine d'Ecosse. L'ensemble dure une minute sans coupures autres que celle de la tête de la souveraine!
    - "La chasse au lion" du Danois Ole Olsen (1906) dans un genre plus documentaire décrivant le dépeçage du fauve sur une plage.
    - L'Italien Guazzoni agrémente sa version de "Quo Vadis?" (1913) de quelques séquences horrifiques: chrétiens dévorés par des lions, torches humaines flambant dans les jardins de Néron, sans oublier le suicide sanglant du poète Pétrone se tranchant les veines dans sa baignoire.
    -"La Sorcellerie à travers les âges" de Benjamin Christensen (Danemark, 1921) nous montre des nouveaus-nés jetés dans des marmittes d'eau bouillante.

Le premier vrai choc psychologique impliquant un public remonte à 1903 avec la célébre séquence XIV du "Great Train Robbery". Dans celle-ci, Barnes, le chef des hors-la-loi, vise en gros plan sur le spectateur... et tire. --http://perso.wanadoo.fr/tpehorreur/tpehorreur/Histoire%20des%20films%20d'horreur.htm [Jun 2005]

inspired by Dictionnaire du fantastique - de Alain Pozzuoli, Jean-Pierre Kremer [Amazon.fr]

see also: witchcraft - french - silent film - horror film - 1922

2005, Jun 06; 23:12 ::: La Danse Macabre

background image: Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman, logo of http://www.geocities.com/ppollefeys/dance.htm

Dance of Death (1491) - Hans Holbein

The artistic genre of the dance of death was most probably developed in France. The dance of death of the Cimetière des Innocents in Paris, painted in 1424, is considered the starting point of this tradition. (That work having been destroyed, we know it only through a reproduction in a book published into 1485 by the editor Guyot Marchant.) Afterwards were created among others the frescoes of London (circa 1430), of Basel (a first one around 1440 and a second around 1480), of La Chaise-Dieu (circa 1460-70), of Lübeck (1463). During the second half of the 15th century, the dance of death enjoyed an always growing popularity. You can now admire several dances of death on this site. Some are painted al fresco, like the one in France, Germany, Italy or from various countries. Others come from manuscripts or books, some are works by famous artists like Hans Holbein the Younger, Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki or Johann Elias Ridinger and some other are the works of unknown artists. --http://www.geocities.com/ppollefeys/dance.htm [Jun 2005]

- The dance of Death in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by James M. Clark (1950).
- Manuels Totentanz, Paul Zinsli (1979). ISBN 3-258-02777-3
- Tanz und Musik des Todes, Reinhold Hammerstein (1980) ISBN 3-7720-1460-7
- Der tanzende Tod, Gert Keiser (1983). ISBN 3-458-32347-3
- Hans Holbein d. J. Bilder des Todes.Kurt Liebmann. Insel-Verlag. (1989) ISBN 3-7351-0060-0
- Der Fuessener Totentanz, Reinhold Bohm (1990). ISBN 3-928461-00-1
- Der Heidelberg Totentanz von 1485. Manfred Lemmer. Insel Verlag. (1991). ISBN 3-458-19092-9
- Das Bild von Tod. Publiée par Eva Schuster (1992). ISBN 3-7647-0434-9
- Der Totentanz von Lubeck und Reval published by Hartmut Freytag (1993) ISBN 3-412-01793-0
- The danse macabre of women by Ann Turkey Harrison and Sandra Hindman (1994) ISBN 0-87338-473-3
- Die Spreuerbruecke in Luzern, Raeber Verlag Luzern. (1996). ISBN 3-7239-0090-9
- Itinéraires des danses macabres de Bertrand et Hélène Utzinger (1996). ISBN 2-908974-14-2
- Tanz der Toten, Verlag J.H.Roll (1998). ISBN 3-89754-128-9
- Vifs nous sommes... Morts nous serons, Groupe de Recherches sur les peintures murales (2001). ISBN 2-904736-20-4

--http://www.geocities.com/ppollefeys/biblio_a.htm [Jun 2005]

see also: macabre

2005, Jun 06; 23:12 ::: Francis Danby (1793 - 1861)

The Deluge (1840) - Francis Danby

2005, Jun 06; 23:12 ::: Me and my Village (1911) - Marc Chagall

Me and my Village (1911) - Marc Chagall

2005, Jun 06; 22:23 ::: Capriccio

Capriccio with the Colosseum (1743-44) - B. Bellotto

see also: fantastic

2005, Jun 06; 21:12 ::: Edward Burne-Jones (1833 - 1898)

Pan and Psyche (1872/74) - Edward Burne-Jones

see also: fantastic

2005, Jun 06; 20:44 ::: Claude Nicolas Ledoux

Claude Nicolas Ledoux Théatre de Besançon, vue de l'interieur

see also: fantastic

2005, Jun 06; 19:55 ::: Babel

The Tower of Babel (1563) - Brueghel

The "Little" Tower of Babel (c. 1563) - Brueghel

Babel by Doré

Inspired by Het fantastische in de kunst: compendium (1989) / gecompileerd door Alexandra Gabrielli, geïllustreerd door Onno Docters van Leeuwen

2005, Jun 06; 19:55 ::: Gregor Baci

Painting by Gregor Baci, German, 16th century

According to tradition, the man portrayed is the Hungarian nobleman Gregor Baci, who was healed after having a lance pierce his right eye during a tournament. In the inventory of 1621 he is identified as an Hungarian hussar, who suffered this injury while fighting against the Turks. In the case of portraits of unusual people the interest of the collector, Archduke Ferdinand II, was not focussed on the painting as a work of art but rather on the person portrayed, his special destiny and his deeds. These were simply the qualities that made him a celebrity and raised him above the level of the average person. This desire to preserve the whole person and his deeds for posterity was, of course, also the motivation for collecting weapons and armour of famous rulers in his heroes armoury. --http://www.khm.at/system2E.html?/staticE/page382.html [Jun 2005]

2005, Jun 06; 19:31 ::: Fornicon (1969) - Tomi Ungerer

Fornicon (1969) - Tomi Ungerer [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Illustration from Fornicon (1969) - Tomi Ungerer
image sourced here.

Tomi (Jean-Thomas) Ungerer, (November 28, 1931 - ) is a French illustrator best known for his erotic and political illustrations as well as children's books. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomi_Ungerer [Jun 2005]

2005, Jun 06; 17:58 ::: Philosophy of lasciviousness

4. 'In the union of the sexes, both pursue one common object, but not in the same manner. From their diversity in this particular, arises the first determinate difference between the moral relations of each. The one should be active and strong, the other passive and weak: it is necessary the one should have both the power and the will, and that the other should make little resistance.

'This principle being established, it follows that woman is expressly formed to please the man: if the obligation be reciprocal also, and the man ought to please in his turn, it is not so immediately necessary: his great merit is in his power, and he pleases merely because he is strong. This, I must confess, is not one of the refined maxims of love; it is, however, one of the laws of nature, prior to love itself.

'If woman be formed to please and be subjected to man it is her place, doubtless, to render herself agreeable to him, instead of challenging his passion. The violence of his desires depends on her charms; it is by means of these she should urge him to the exertion of those powers which nature hath given him. The most successful method of exciting them, is, to render such exertion necessary by their resistance; as, in that case, self-love is added to desire, and the one triumphs in the victory which the other obliged to acquire. Hence arise the various modes of attack and defence between the sexes; the boldness of one sex and the timidity of the other; and, in a word, that bashfulness and modesty with which nature hath armed the weak, in order to subdue the strong.' -- Rousseau's Emilius.

I shall make no other comment on this ingenius passage, than just to observe, that it is the philosophy of lasciviousness.

--from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) by Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft (April 27, 1759 - September 10, 1797) was the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and mother of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Her husband William Godwin was one of the most prominent atheists of his day and a forefather of the anarchist movement. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wollstonecraft [Jun 2005]

see also: sex philosophy - Mary Wollstonecraft - feminism

2005, Jun 06; 17:27 ::: Sensuality


    1. The quality or state of being sensual or lascivious.
    2. Excessive devotion to sensual pleasure. --AHD [Jun 2005]

Die Sinnlichkeit / Sensuality (1898) - Franz von Stuck

Franz von Stuck (* 23. Februar 1863 in Tettenweis, Landkreis Passau (Niederbayern); † 30. August 1928 in München) war deutscher Maler und Bildhauer. --http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_von_Stuck [Jun 2005]

cover illustration from a German book

another version of Sinnlichkeit by Franz von Stuck

c.1340, "the part of man that is concerned with the senses," from O.Fr. sensualité, from L.L. sensualitatem (nom. sensualitas) "capacity for sensation," from L. sensualis "endowed with feeling, sensitive," from sensus "feeling" (see sense). Chiefly "animal instincts and appetites," hence "the lower nature regarded as a source of evil, lusts of the flesh" (1621). --http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=sensuality [Jun 2005]

Sexuality and sensuality
There is no clear borderline between sexual and nonsexual enjoyment of touching someone else's body. For example, holding hands may or may not have a sexual connotation, depending on culture, situation and other factors. There are, however, actions that are clearly sexual by almost anyone's definition but which have been argued by an accused as not having sexual relations since the most common form of heterosexual sexual intercourse had not occurred. The distinction between sexual and nonsexual behavior can be relevant due to social rules.

Some criteria that may be applied are:

  • the body parts involved (see also intimate parts)
  • physical signs of sexual arousal
  • subjective feeling

While enjoying touching the body of someone else implies enjoying one's own body also, the latter may also happen without another person; enjoying one's own body also may or may not be of a sexual nature. If it is, it is called autoeroticism.

The whole of one's sexual activities (including erotic dreams and waking sexual fantasies and daydreams) is called one's sex life. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior#Sexuality_and_sensuality [Jun 2005]

see also: symbolism - decadent art - 1898

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