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Salon de la Rose + Croix

The "Salon de la Rose + Croix" was founded by the writer Joséphin Péladan (1859-1918) in 1892 and took place in Paris every year up until 1987. The Order of the Rosicrucians, based on the name of its founding father in the 15th century Christian Rosenkreuz, stood behind these exhibitions. The brotherhood and the art it promoted had a very esoteric character, despite their declared Catholic belief, and was dominating the then occult Parisian scene. Their symbol, in accordance with the name, was a rose and a cross.
Péladan, who called himself Sâr Mérodak (Grandmaster), was an eccentric Catholic and said he had found the holy grave in Jerusalem. Together with the poet Saint-Pol Roux and the Comte Antoine de la Rochefoucauld, he developed the program for the Rosicrucian's esthetic commandments, banning all kinds of history painting, the genre, the portrait and generally all scenes of contemporary life. Art was supposed to be subordinated to a mystified Catholic ideal of legends, myths, dreams and allegories.
The "Salon de la Rose + Croix" offered a suitable ideological frame for Symbolism that had a certain tendency towards Occultism anyway. Over its six years of existence it attracted numerous artists from all over Europe. A total of ca. 230 different artists showed works in the salon. Among them were Ferdinand Hodler, Carlos Schwabe, Jan Toorop, Fernand Khnopff, Jean Delville, Georges Minne and Xavier Mellery as well as seevral memners of the group "Nabis" and the "School of Pont-Aven" such as Émile Bernand, Félix Valloton and Charles Filiger.