Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897
Guggenheim Museum Publications
Now this is one is a beauty amongst quite a few I hold in high esteem when it comes to well made publications on Symbolist art.
It starts with the tactile experience that the front and back covers present themselves as, as part of the front cover and all of the back are dressed in scarlet velvet with gold lettering and the front is adorned by Pierre Beronneau’s "Orpheus in the Hades" – expertly made to conjure the spirit and ambience of the Salons the book set out to shed light on.
The contents of the book hold what the cover promises: Enchanting essays that substantiate via elaborations what was the an instalment of the Salon de la Rose+Croix, as part of a sequence by French author, critic, occultist and Rosicrucian Joséphin Péladan.
For the uninitiated, “Rose+Croix” was meant to signify the convention of an international committee of luminaries who channelled their art in symbolism in defiance of aestheticism dedicated to the depiction of realism to sharpen their focus and further grind a lense for tenets rooted in mysticism.
Opulently illustrated, the enjoyment ifs further enhanced by the depiction of forty-six colour places, details on each artist – among which rank names such as Pierre Amédée Marcel-Béronneau, Jean Delville, Fernand Khnopff, Charles Maurin, Armand Point, Alexandre Séon and Félix Vallotton – as well as essays on the significance of their art and a bibliography that will lead you down the rabbit hole of Symbolist art.