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    The fascination of filiger: from Jarry to Breton

    Fell, Jill (2011) The fascination of filiger: from Jarry to Breton. The Papers of Surrealism 9 ,

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    In 1948 André Breton discovered the work of Charles Filiger through a long article by Alfred Jarry written in 1894 in praise of this reclusive artist. Breton‟s subsequent fascination with Filiger‟s work may however have been based on the false assumption of Jarry‟s continued admiration. Filiger‟s naïve, mediaeval style and religious subject matter matched that of the magazine L’Ymagier, launched by Jarry and the critic Remy de Gourmont. In admiring Jarry‟s choice of Filiger for the only long article that he wrote on a single artist, Breton failed to realize that Gourmont was probably the prime mover in the affair. He did not notice that Jarry lost interest in Filiger after breaking with Gourmont. Breton also failed to appreciate that many of the Filigers that he himself collected were of a geometric style, different from the earlier religious paintings praised by Jarry. Despite reproducing Filiger‟s paintings in later texts, such as L’Art Magique, Breton admitted his inability to explain his attraction to them. His inclusion of Filiger‟s name with only suspension marks after it in a dossier devoted to mediumistic painters is the most potent sign of his hesitation in assessing this strange artist with whose paintings he surrounded his bed.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Arts > Cultures and Languages (to 2020)
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2014 13:07
    Last Modified: 11 Oct 2016 12:00


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