Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Péladan Project

The Péladan Project is a new website by Sasha Chaitow, a PhD candidate at EXESESO (Centre for the Academic Study of Western Esotericism) at the University of Exeter, England, based on the work for her PhD thesis on the life and work of the French novelist Joséphin Péladan (1858-1918). “The purpose of this website is to provide bibliographical data, a repository of all public domain works by (or related to) Joséphin Péladan, as well as a gallery of Symbolist artwork from the artists who exhibited in the Salons de Rose+Croix that Péladan organised between 1892-1897.”

Wherever art and esotericism overlap, Péladan’s influence may also be considered as a parallel, though more practically and socially oriented current, to Helena Blavatsky’s contemporary Theosophical Society (est. 1875 in New York, with further societies in Greece, London and Paris by the 1880s).  Peladan’s unique cosmology and synthesis of esoteric thought was influenced by his reading of Fabre d’Olivet, among numerous other contemporary occultists, and found fertile ground in the French occult revival inspired by Eliphas Levi (1810-1875) and his popularization of magic, Kabbalah and Tarot in England and France, while the artists belonging to the Salon d’Art Idéaliste founded 1896 by Jean Delville (1867-1953), the mirror of Péladan’s Salon in neighbouring Belgium, drew on the ideas of the Theosophists Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) and Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854-1934), as well as Péladan’s work.

The rest of the piece, and further information about Péladan, can be accessed here.

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