"Artist.... you know art descends from heaven. If you create a perfect work, a soul will come to inhabit it."

Joséphin Péladan 1858-1918

The Péladan Project

For his part, Joséphin Péladan – that admirable artist to whom the future will render justice at the final reckoning, in judging him apart from the perhaps too original aspects of his work – took the head of a movement to spiritualize aestheticism… which will have profound repercussions on contemporary art.  (Papus, Les sciences maudites, 1900)1

About Me

I am a PhD candidate at the Centre for the Study of Myth at the University of Essex. My PhD thesis focuses on the life and work of Joséphin Péladan: a full scale review of his work in the context of the history of Western Esotericism, and an attempt to reexamine and where necessary, rehabilitate the man and his work.

Who was Joséphin Péladan?

History has not been kind to Josephin Péladan. An enormously prolific author with a vision for societal reform through art, he is usually consigned to a footnote or a few lines in scholarly overviews of Rosicrucianism or the French occult revival. Portrayed as an eccentric oddity, his defining characteristic is that of contradiction and paradox.

From the Galleries

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Photos and portraits of Péladan

Photos and portraits of Péladan

Frontispieces to Péladan’s books

Frontispieces to Péladan's books

Sémiramis, 1904

Péladan’s play, Sémiramis, performed in Nimes, 1904. (Opening lines to...

Posters for Péladan’s Salons

Posters for Péladan's Salons

Symbolist Gallery

A selection of paintings by artists who worked alongside Péladan and exhibited at his...