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Alexandre Séon, la beauté idéale

A native son from Chazelles in the Loire region, where a street was named after him, Alexandre Séon (1855-1917) linked his name to that of Puvis de Chavannes, his unfailing supporter, and to Sâr Péladan, the moderator of the brotherhood of the Rose-Croix. A mystic and a symbolist, the forgotten Séon left some large compositions such as the one in the ceremony room at the townhall of Courbevoie, which is still visible. But this artist who always had a copy of Mona Lisa in his pocket was especially known for a series of Arcadian scenes. Nymphs picking flowers in velvet looking underwoods, ideal beauties living in settings of pink rocks and blue water, partly inspire by his vacations in the island of Bréhat. The Fée Mélusine, Orpheus, Joan of Arc, mermaids and muses accompanied through his life that was rather dark, marked by a series of failures (decorations for the townhall in Paris, illustrations of the gospel for publisher Mame) and by his bewilderment when facing men’s murderous folly, which accelerated his own end, due to stomach problems in the middle of the war.

Alexandre Séon, la beauté idéale, Silvana Editoriale, 2015, 288 p., €35.

Alexandre Séon, la beauté idéale -

Review published in the newsletter #423 - from 24 March 2016 to 30 March 2016

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