obnoxion wrote: ↑
Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:02 pm
I am reading Laurence Caruna's interpretation of this incredibly richly detailed painting, "Moreau's Labyrinth - A Visual Journey Through Jupiter and Semele, Its Narrative, Composition & Philosophy" (Recluse, 2018), and I want to quote straight from the book about this Fallen Angel (pages 4 - 5):
Just below Semele - his dark wing contrasting sharply with her light drapery - appears a small winged figure: the 'cloven-hoofed angel' who falls, blinded, from the sight of Jupiter's glory. The multiple sketches in the Musee Gustave Moreau attest to the fact that the artist laboured hard ovar this figure for many hours, if not days. In his first sketches, the cherub appears as a fallen angel, but in later sketches Moreau added hooves, making it an angel transforming into a satyr as it falls to the middle realm of generation.
Through these details, we are led to understand that, in the eternal cycle of metempsychosis, the fallen angels became those spirits that animate all of Nature, such as the 'dryads, satyrs and fauns', mentioned by the artist in his description of the painting. As 'denizens of the water and the woods... all are overcome by ecstacy, love and joy.' This fallen angel, now a satyr like Pan, symbolizes the 'the Spirit of Earthly Love', and descends, like the vegetation around the left pillar, into the realm of generation.
Does these passages hint towards what you meant by the fallen angels connection to the faery-faith in this
This connection between Jupiters immense powers, that is deadly for the mortals, and Pan seems to be noted also in Arthur Machens 'The Great God Pan' (spoiler alert). The idea could be also connected solely to Pan, as it is often noted that we experience Pan when we are lost in the woods and start to panic, which ofcourse easily leads to life threatening choices. But in Machens book we could easily see these three section you referred the painting incorporating in its composition. In the book there is the higher current, which by black magic is drawn in to a body of a woman (the middle section of the painting) and the celestial overpowers her completely leaving her consciousness unreachable and her body impregnated. She dies after giving birth.
The impregnation already leaps towards the bottom third through the falling angel and the vegetation in the pillars. And we come to the kingdom of Pan. There the people end up lost in the labyrinth of wilderness, that has been revealed from themselves by sights of satyrs with the girl/woman who was conceived by the forementioned pregnancy. These scenes also have some subtle sexual motives hinted towards. The wilderness of these powers only seem wild to the mortals, I think, and the unfortunate who have to face them, hurry to take their own lives by various methods. Here I'm eager to see connection to the book in the Pantokrator iconography, as a note how by knowledge, an order
can be reached granting us immortality in the face of the occult powers that makes us vulnerable to madness and untimely death. Where ever the girl in the book has stayed long, there seem to follow an aura of death, which makes the unfortunate and the nosey sick by the air they come to breathe. This aura of death is depicted in the bottom of the painting, I presume.
Coming in contact with the celestial in inproper ways holds a lot vaster scale of interpretation than loosing ones marbles, to which I focused on above. It could be also thought to be present, for example, when someone preaches his religion to others in ways that leads to loosing the beauty of the religion. The erotic tension has been lost, thus Pan seems quite under the weather. And coming back to the vaster spectrum of interpretation loosing the erotic tension is loosing the connection to meaning and the Word of god (coming back to the Pantrokrator iconography) in this realm we inhabit.
Wikipedia wrote:Of this work, Moreau himself wrote, "Semele, penetrated by the divine effluence, regenerated and purified by this consecration, dies struck by lightning and with her dies the genius of terrestrial love, the genius with the goat hooves".
EDIT: Added one sentence.