Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rodolphe Bresdin: "The Comedy of Death" (1854)

" an improbable landscape bristling with trees, brushwood and thickets assuming the forms of demons and phantoms, and covered in birds with rat-like heads and vegetable tails, on a patch of land strewn with vertibrae, ribs and skulls, gnarled and splintered willow trees rise up, on which skeletons, arms in the air, wave bouquets of flowers and chant a song of victory, while Christ flees into a dappled sky and a hermit meditates at the back of a grotto, his head in his hands, and a miserable beggar lies dying, exhausted by privation, prostrated by hunger, stretched out on his back, his feet pointing towards a stagnant pool."
-J.-K. Huysmans, describing "La comédie de la mort" in À Rebours

Rudolphe Bresdin (1822-1885) was a French engraver and lithiographer. In 1849, he left Paris to walk throughout France, staying in Toulouse and for a time, and living in a hut in the Corrèze region. Bresdin’s work was admired by such contemporaries as Victor Hugo, Théophile Gautier, and Charles Baudelaire, and Huysmans apparently owned a print of The Good Samaritain.

One can explore the print in depth on the Cleveland Museum of Art website.

The BNF also has a great online Bresdin exhibition.


Anonymous said...

Dan Zukovic's "DARK ARC", a bizarre Huysman's noir dark comedy called "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different..." in Film Threat, was recently released on DVD through Vanguard Cinema(, and is currently
debuting on Cable Video On Demand. The film had it's World Premiere at the Montreal Festival, and it's US Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival. Featuring Sarah Strange ("White Noise"), Kurt Max Runte ("X-Men", "Battlestar Gallactica",) and Dan Zukovic (director and star of the cult comedy "The Last Big Thing"). Featuring the glam/punk tunes "Dark Fruition", "Ire and Angst" and "F.ByronFitzBaudelaire", and a dark orchestral score by Neil Burnett.


***** (Five stars) "Absolutely brilliant...truly and completely different...something you've never tasted
before..." Film Threat
"A black comedy about a very strange love triangle" Seattle Times
"Consistently stunning images...a bizarre blend of art, sex, and opium, "Dark Arc" plays like a candy-coloured
version of David Lynch. " IFC News
"Sarah Strange is as decadent as Angelina Jolie thinks she is...Don't see this movie sober!" Metroactive Movies
"Equal parts film noir intrigue, pop culture send-up, brain teaser and visual feast. " American Cinematheque

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