Friday Art: Witches Around The Fire by Paul Ranson (1891)

A brush fire along my route home (thankfully out, according to what I just read) will add some time to my commute, and unfortunately, there will NOT be a group of s-e-x-y witches gathered around it.

And they brought their kitties too! It’s like they arranged a big coven of dating potential for yours truly. Ah well…

Ranson was one of the leaders of the Nabis, a group of late 19th century French artists who experimented with various styles and paved various ways towards modernism. Ranson’s own work evokes a lot of the curvo-linear forms of art nouveau, like this one of a witch and her black cat from 1893:

He sort of mixes elements of TA Steinlen with Aubrey Beardsley with stuff like that, while the color scheme of the witches and the fire remind me a lot of Matisse – those red dancers in a circle and the like. Clearly the color explosion of the Fauvists was on his mind as well. Ranson’s bodies are curvier and more realistic than what we’d find in Matisse, but the general vibe of the witches sitting around the burning cauldron feel like Matisse got a little bizarre-erotic one day.

It must be the toxoplasmosis.

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