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Periodical: Catalogue du Salon de la Rose+Croix

Summary:  From Pat Deveney's database:

Catalogue du Salon de la Rose+Croix.
Ordre de la Rose-Croix du Temple et du Graal / Geste Esthetique / Catalogue des Oeuvres Exposees.
Ad Rosam per Crucen, ad Crucem per Rosam; in ea in eis gemmatus resurgam. Non nobis non nobis Domine sed nominis tui gloriae solo. Amen Other titles: Ordre de Rose+Croix / Salon de la Rose+Croix
1892--1897 Annual (none for 1895)
Paris, France. Language: French.
Editor: Sar Josephin Peladan.
1/1, 1892-1897.
5 francs.

This was the catalogue of Sar Peladan's Rosicrucian salons and Gestes Esthetiques held in Paris from 1892 to 1897. At various points the catalogue was intended to become the "Bulletin mensuel" or the "Organe Trimestriel" de l'Ordre de la Rose + Croix du Temple et du Graal but that plan never came to pass and the catalogue was only published annually at the time of the spring Gestes Esthetiques, with the exception of 1895 when it did not appear. The salons were elaborate artistic "aesthetic actions," with theater, music, lectures, and graphic art presented over a period of weeks, all united under the Catholic occult vision of Joseph-Aime ("Josephin") Peladan ("Sar Merodach," 1858-1918) and presented under the aegis of his tripartite Ordre de la Rose-Croix du Temple et du Graal.

Peladan was born in Lyon, the son of the rigidly Catholic Louis-Adrien Peladan (1825-1890), a traditionalist and legitimist who strove to reanimate Catholicism with its authentic roots in legend, mystery, visions, apparitions, prophecy and the occult (he had, for example, translated Postel). On him see the notes under Annales du Surnaturel au XIX Si├Ęcle (Nimes, 1883-1890) and Semaine Religieuse de Lyon et de la Province (Lyon, 1862-1870). Josephine Peladan began mildly enough as a bank clerk and progressed naturally through starving artist, novelist, mage, and symbolist artist. In the 1880s he (and his father) were involved in the revival of the Journal de Magnetisme and in 1888 he and Stanislas de Guaita and others formed the Rose-Croix Kabbalistique, with Peladan bringing to the order his claimed inheritance of initiation into a Toulouse branch of the Rosicrucians. Everyone who was to play a role in the dawning occult renaissance in Paris joined the group, but Peladan withdrew in 1890 because it was insufficiently Catholic and started his own Ordre de la Rose-Croix, whose goals he propagated through his annual salons, beginning in 1892.

Peladan was haughty, eccentric and flamboyant, an aesthete permeated with a fevered eroticism and naive decadence that was notable even in that decadent decade, an eroticism that was disguised by an avowed pretense of pursuing the ideal behind appearance. "The Order [of the Rose+ Croix] has a sole animating goal: to destroy sexual love, passion, and to substitute for it the abstract and aesthetic rites." "I swear by my eternal becoming, to seek, admire and love Beauty by the ways of Art and Mystery; to praise, serve and defend it even at my peril; to keep my heart from sexual love to give it to the ideal; and to never seek poetry in woman, who only present its gross image." He was the "Chevalier de l'Ideal," waging artistic and intellectual war against the prevailing positivism and naturalism in art, with the goal of restoring its traditional basis in legend, myth, allegory, spiritualism, lyricism, dream, and "mysticity."

The journal was filled with rhapsodic verbal flights: "Artist, you are priest; Art is the great mystery and and when your work results in a chef-d'oeuvre, a divine ray descends as on an altar. O real presence of the resplendent divinity under the supreme names: de Vinci, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Beethoven and Wagner," etc.

The salons presented theater (Peladan's "Babylon," for example, in four acts), musical performances heavily influenced by Wagner, and even a Rosicrucian orchestra led by Erik Satie until the two prima donnas fell out. The most notable elements of the salons were the exhibition of art by Jean Delville (a long-time disciple of Peladan's), Pierre Rambaud, Alexandre Seon, Armand Point, Georges Rouault, Felicien Robs, Gustave Moreau, et al. The pieces displayed were set pieces, largely nudes, but avowedly not erotic, intended to display the ideal behind appearances. Plates of many of the works displayed were reproduced in the catalogues.

The catalogues gave detailed proscriptions on the sort of art not to be allowed: No representations of contemporary life, no portraits, no landscapes (except those that looked like Poussin's), no humor, no domestic animals, fruits, etc., and, notably, no women artists: "In accordance with the magical law, no work by a woman will be exhibited or produced by the Order."

In the decades before his death in 1918, Peladan continued to play a major but peripheral role in the occult revival around Papus. On the death of Abbe Boullan in 1893, he and de Guaita were accused of "astral murder." ZDB: Stuttgart WLB; BNF; etc.

Issues:Catalogue Du Salon De La Rose+croix Mar-apr 1892
Catalogue Du Second Salon De La Rose+croix Mar-apr 1893
Ordre De Rose+croix 3e Geste Esthetique Apr-may 1894
Salon De La Rose+croix Catalogue Des Oeuvres Exposees Mar-apr-1896
Ordre De Rose+croix Du Temple Et Graal 6e Geste Esthetique Mar 1897

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