Joseph Péladan (–), as he was originally called (he later changed his first name to Joséphin), was born in Lyons in the family of the fervent Catholic. Joséphin Péladan (* March 28, in Lyon, France; † June 27, in Neuilly- sur-Seine, France) was a French author, critic and occultist. Péladan, who changed his name from Joseph to Joséphin, described himself as ‘ the sandwich-man of the Beyond,’ exhumed a mystical society founded in.

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An enormously prolific author with a vision for societal reform through art, he is usually consigned to a footnote or a few lines in scholarly overviews of Rosicrucianism or the French occult revival. Portrayed as an eccentric oddity, his defining characteristic is that of contradiction and paradox.

During his lifetime he collaborated with some of the greatest figures in the modern esoteric canon, Gerard Encausse and Stanislas de Guaita. Making the invisible visible: Addressing himself to all artists, he wrote:. His work developed in two parallel series; he would write a novel followed by an accompanying theoretical work — the former aimed at the public, the latter at the intellectual, or initiate.

In his own words, at the opening of the first, massively successful Salon — which saw some fifty thousand visitors —: Our aim is to tear love jozephin of the western soul and replace it with the love of Beauty, the love of the Idea, the love of Mystery. We will combine in harmonious ecstasy the emotions of literature, the Louvre and Bayreuth. These initiates would then raise the souls of the masses to ecstasy through aesthetic bombardment, pealdan than subduing them by Machiavellian machinations, intoxicants, pelwdan soporifics.


Jose;hin that, Legends, Myths, Allegory, Dreams, the paraphrasing of great poets, and finally, all lyricisme.

Writers No One Reads • No one reads “the sandwich-man of the Beyond.”

The salon was a resounding success despite the disparate nature of some of the works. He was not particularly fond of ritual practice and disapproved of practical magic, rather considering that the artistic process was a supreme sacerdotal act.

The structure of his Rosicrucian order and his theoretical guide for artists reflect this. The first was science, or the quest for God through reality.

The second was art, a quest through beauty.

Joséphin Péladan | A Babylonian Mage in 19th Century Paris

The third was Theodicy, or the quest through thought. These are reflected in the tripartite, though equal trajectories offered through his order: Leonardo da Vinci in whose name neophytes took the oath of the first degree, Dante Alighieri, in whose name they swore for the josdphin degree, and Saint John and the Holy Spirit for the final degree of Commander.

All of these elements came together in his aesthetic curriculum, based on esoteric principles. He further illustrates his point with reference to the painting of St.

John the Baptist, once again in a first-person narrative:.

I am the androgyne of forms … I am the announcer of the mysticism of Beauty, the mysticism of Art. They angered Zeus by being too self-sufficient and powerful, and even going so far as to attack the gods, and so he gave them a lesson in humility by splitting them apart forever.

Two main motifs stand out; although there are many worth exploring, these are best left for another time. The first is the recurring representation of variations on the androgyne, whether as masculinized feminine forms or feminized peladsn forms. To the contrary, he wrote other treatises on marital relationships, and suggested ways in which women could aspire to the Ideal Feminine, even if — in his view — they could never be equal to men. It was coarseness, vulgarity and decadence he sought to eliminate, and through the constant creation and exhibition of these Ideal forms, he hoped to pave a way to return the soul to beauty and the innocence of Eden.


In the other images we have various depictions of an androgynous feminine form, to varying degrees of subtlety. In this painting by Peladaan Toorop [The Sphinx] we see a fusion of the androgyne with the Sphinx, the second key recurrent motif. Edouard Schure succinctly explains the esoteric significance of the Sphinx, which he saw as the supreme symbol of ancient Egypt and the mystery of Nature.

Joséphin Peladan

It teaches him the secret of evolution and the secret of bliss […] he knows that one day he will reconstitute his original unity. You have disobeyed Tradition. His changed demeanour after this period was not enough to salvage his jsoephin, and though he continued to write, the autobiographical elements of his novels reveal his despair at having failed in his mission.

He died a broken, and forgotten man. His novels enjoyed a new-found popularity in Germany after his death. Flammarionp. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

Learn how your comment data josepnin processed. Addressing himself to all artists, he wrote: John the Baptist, once again in a first-person narrative: Garland,p. Leave a Reply Cancel reply.