The Péladan Project | | Sasha Chaitow
Joséphin Péladan (1858-1918), or Sâr Merodack as he preferred to be known, was a key figure in the inception and development of fin-de-siècle French Symbolism, as well as in the overt marriage of art and occult symbolism during the French occult revival. His Salon de la Rose et Croix, though short-lived, was perhaps one of the most ambitious artistic undertakings the French art world has seen, featuring unique exhibitions and productions seeking to unite the arts into a revival of initiatory drama, with a philosophical underpinning rooted in the Western esoteric traditions, and with the ultimate goal of the spiritual regeneration of society. Central to Péladan's vision was his conception of the artist as initiate; select individuals who could bring a small part of the divine into the mundane sphere. This is the focus of this project, which traces the influences behind the man, his vision, his 'esoteric-aesthetic curriculum,' and its legacy on their own terms within the context of the