was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...
who was a symbolist poet
A poet is a person who writes poetry. A poet's work can be literal, meaning that his work is derived from a specific event, or metaphorical, meaning that his work can take on many meanings and forms. Poets have existed since antiquity, in nearly all languages, and have produced works that vary...
and man of letters and wrote under the pseudonyms of Jean Caselli
and Jean Lahor
. To describe several of his artist friends who were avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....
painters he coined the term Les Nabis
Les Nabis were a group of Post-Impressionist avant-garde artists who set the pace for fine arts and graphic arts in France in the 1890s. Initially a group of friends interested in contemporary art and literature, most of them studied at the private art school of Rodolphe Julian in Paris in the...
. The term drew a parallel between the way these painters aimed to revitalize painting (as prophets of modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...
) and the way the ancient prophets had rejuvenated Israel. Possibly the nickname arose because "most of them wore beards, some were Jews and all were desperately earnest".
His works include:
- Chants populaires de l'Italie (1865)
- Vita tristis, Reveries fantastiques, Romances sans musique (1865)
- Melancholia (1868)
- Le Livre du néant (1872)
- Henry Regnault, sa vie et son œuvre (1872)
- L'Illusion (1875-1893)
- Cantique des cantiques (1885)
- Les Quatrains d'Al-Gazali (1896)
- William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...
The author of the Livre du néant
had a predilection for gloomy subjects and especially for pictures of death. His oriental habits of thought earned for him the title of the Hindou du Parnasse contemporain
(cf. Le Parnasse contemporain
Le Parnasse contemporain is composed of three volumes of poetry collections, published in 1866, 1871 and 1876 by the editor Alphonse Lemerre, which included a hundred French poets, such as Leconte de Lisle, Théodore de Banville, Heredia, Gautier, Catulle Mendès, Baudelaire, Sully Prudhomme,...
Some of his poems have been set to music by Camille Saint-Saëns
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French Late-Romantic composer, organist, conductor, and pianist. He is known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony...
, Henri Duparc, Charles Bordes
Charles Bordes was a French music teacher and composer.-Timeline:Bordes studied pianoforte with Antoine François Marmontel and composition with César Franck. He was organist and maître de chapelle at Nogent-sur-Marne from 1887 to 1890...
, Ernest Chausson
Amédée-Ernest Chausson was a French romantic composer who died just as his career was beginning to flourish.-Life:Ernest Chausson was born in Paris into a prosperous bourgeois family...
, Reynaldo Hahn
Reynaldo Hahn was a Venezuelan, naturalised French, composer, conductor, music critic and diarist. Best known as a composer of songs, he wrote in the French classical tradition of the mélodie....
, Edouard Trémisot and Paul Paray
Paul Paray was a French conductor, organist and composer. He is best remembered in the United States for being the resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for more than a decade. He married Yolande Falck on 25 August 1944.-Biography:Paray's father, Auguste, was a sculptor and organist...
He also maintained a correspondence of interest with the poet Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé , whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé, was a French poet and critic. He was a major French symbolist poet, and his work anticipated and inspired several revolutionary artistic schools of the early 20th century, such as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism.-Biography:Stéphane...
from 1862 to 1871.
See a notice by Paul Bourget in Anthologie des poétes fr. du XIXieme siècle
(1887-1888); Jules Lemaître
François Élie Jules Lemaître , was a French critic and dramatist.He was born at Vennecy . He became a professor at the university of Grenoble, but was already well known for his literary criticism, and in 1884 he resigned his position to devote his time to literature...
, Les Contemporains
(1889); Émile Faguet
Auguste Émile Faguet was a French author and literary critic.Faguet was born at La Roche-sur-Yon, and educated at the École normale supérieure in Paris. After teaching for some time in La Rochelle and Bordeaux, he returned to Paris to act as assistant professor of poetry in the university. He...
in the Revue bleue
(October 1893). George Santayana
George Santayana was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters...
's Poetry and Religion
(1900) has an essay on his concept of La gloire du néant
Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) is based on a poem written by Henri Cazalis.
Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence*,
Striking with his heel a tomb,
Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
Zig, zig, zig, on his violin.
The winter wind blows and the night is dark;
Moans are heard in the linden-trees.
Through the gloom, white skeletons pass,
Running and leaping in their shrouds.
Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking*.
The bones of the dancers are heard to crack-
But hist! of a sudden they quit the round*,
They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.
- Works by or about Henri Cazalis at Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...
(scanned books original editions color illustrated)