Our aim is to translate art-related essays by Joris-Karl Huysmans, a french critic and novelist who lived from 1848 to 1907. An anthology, plus critical introduction and commentaries, will be organized from Écrits sur l'art 1867-1905 (Essays on Art), an edition established by Patrice Locmant and published in 2006 by Bartillat. An assiduous habitué of 19th Century's high society salons since his youth, J.-K. Huysmans was miscellaneous in his essays: he has favored Édouard Manet's and Edgar Degas' Impressionism, spared long and complimentary pages to the Symbolism of the likes of Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon, and finally, after conversion to Catholicism, he was enraptured by the religious art of German Primitivism, in which "spiritual naturalism" he was to find the synthesis of his aesthetics itinerary, above all in Mathias Grünewald's works. Considering the engagement against the academicism of Huyman's days and his modern aspirations, his essays are placed by the critical fortune alongside Diderot's, Stendhal's and Baudelaire's.Huysmans has published some volumes on art - L'Art moderne (Modern Art, 1883), Certains (A few, 1889) e Trois Primitifs (Three Primitives, 1905). However, albeit each one of these has a predominant theme (respectively Impressionism, Symbolism and religious art), all of them are collections of text first published on the press and the subjects almost always merge - no matter if it is a salon review, a comment on a specific painter or work. Moreover, the 2006 Écrits sur l'art gather previously uncollected essays. Thus, instead of choosing from the critical essays books published by Huysmans himself, we propound to translate and comment a selection of the material which present simultaneously the author's most representative particularities and the essential fin de siecle aesthetic questions.
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