Bizarre

  1. Lepic, Ce qui Restait du Puissant Guillaume de Naillac
  2. Claeaz, Dancers with Death
  3. Anonymous American, A Naked Man and Horse
  4. Klinger, Amor, Tod und Jenseits (Love, Death and the Hereafter)
  5. Surugue, La Folie pare la Décrépitude
  6. Legros, La Légende du Bonhomme Misère : La Mort dans le Poirier
  7. Rops, L’Enlèvement
  8. Sadeler, Allegory of Opulence, Fornication and Stupidity
  9. Mohlitz, La Vierge aux Étrons (The Virgin of Turds)
  10. Legrand, Épaves de Famille (Oddballs of the Family)
  11. Jacquemart, L’Écurueil (sic)
  12. Benassit, L’Absinthe!
  13. de Bry, Punishment of the Mutinous Indians
  14. Goncourt, Le Singe au Miroir (The Monkey at the Mirror)
  15. Callot, Les Martyrs du Japon
  16. Dillon, Les Mendiants (The Beggars)
  17. Barberis, The Witch
  18. Budzinski, The Thirsty Giant
  19. Meryon, Le Ministère de la Marine
  20. Torre-Bueno, Death’s Arrival
  21. van Meurs, Animals of America
  22. Redon, Félinerie
  23. Chagall, Le Vixe
  24. Martin, Indécision (Tête de Femme)
  25. Rops, Le Calvaire
  26. Rops, Les Frères de la Bonne Trogne
  27. Gillray, Tentanda via est qua ve quoque possim Tollere humo
  28. Underwood, Simian Ecstasy
  29. Veber, Beheaded!
  30. Strang, Death and the Ploughman’s Wife: Frontispiece
  31. Corman, The Temptation of Saint Anthony
  32. Bliss, Gargoyles Spouting
  33. Castellón, Of Land and Sea
  34. Eichenberg, Isaiah 11
  35. Rops, L’Idole (The Idol)
  36. Master MZ, Aristotle and Phyllis
  37. Bracquemond, “Hors de mon soleil, canailles!"
  38. Spare, Nemesis
  39. Higgens, Forgotten
  40. Anonymous, Jewish Amulet to Protect Mother and Child
  41. Daumier, Une Expérience Qui Réussit Trop Bien
  42. Seligmann, Le Roi du Charbon (King Charcoal)
  43. Braun, The Release of Force
  44. Callot, Le Grand Rocher
  45. Forest, Bâstard Foetus Hérédité, Comte D’Averton Mort-Né
  46. Jacque, La Souricière
  47. Veber, “Ah! Qu’il fait chaud"
  48. Pastelot, Les Sorcières
  49. Lepic, Le Verger du Roi Louis (The Orchard of King Louis)
  50. Grandville, Résurrection de la Censure
  51. Tidemann, The Earth Swallows Up the People of Korah
  52. Shields, The Descent
  53. Redon, C’est le diable
  54. Sadeler, Ita Erit et Aventus Filii Hominis

42. Kurt Seligmann
(1900-1962)

Le Roi du Charbon (King Charcoal)

(click on image to print)
Seligmann, Le Roi du Charbon (King Charcoal)

Le Roi du Charbon (King Charcoal)

Original drawing in pen and black ink, 1933, on yellowish paper backed with another sheet, inscribed with the title and date in pencil upper right; repaired and retouched tears not affecting the image. This is apparently the preliminary drawing for the etching of the same name that appeared in Les Vagabondages Héraldique in 1934 and later (1936) issued in collotype reproduction in Pierre Courthion’s Métiers des Hommes. Like most works of the Swiss-American artist, it doesn’t mean or signify; it just is. While Seligmann’s titles sometimes give a clue as to what was in his mind, his brand of surrealism, which had enormous influence in the United States, was more about the exploration of a unique artistic personality than it was about content per se. The specific title here is minimally informative, but when we know that it comes from a series called “Heraldic Wanderings,” we see that it is a kind of emblem, almost a coat of arms, an artistic tradition that dates far back in time. The basket and the bellows now seem to have a significance, but the drawing still does not have a meaning; it just is. And that is as it should be. Early Seligmann drawings are rarely found. This one has been authenticated by Arlette Seligmann and Timothy Baum.

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