Théophile «Wonder» Bra again (02.03.2007)

Puisque notre cher Haut et Fort nous fait sa crise d’anglomanie : Recents posts, Recents comments, March, About me (sic), j’en profite pour signaler à nos amis d’outre Manche et Atlantique de passage à Paris pour aller au medium_logo_mvr.jpgMVR (Romantic Life Museum), qu’avec le billet d’entrée à l’expo : Ink of blood, Théophile Bra, a visionary Romantic on leur distribuera une «Exhibition sheet» établie par les soins de Mme Catherine de Bourgoing. Je ne résiste pas au plaisir de vous en citer quelques extraits, rien que pour narguer notre hébergeur facétieux : «Théophile Bra was born in 1797 in the northem town of Douai (French Flanders). At sixteen, he received the first Medal at the Ecole des Beaux-arts. (…) Five years later, he was awarded the 2nd Grand prix de Rome. This distinction opened all doors to official commissions. medium_Buste_Wonder_Bra.jpgBra refused to be influenced by fashionable Neoclassicism or picturesque Romanticism. He (…) tried (…) to express his hope for «a new production looking at the future». (…) Bra studied anatomy for eight years, as well as literature, philosophy, religion, physiology, astronomy, botany… In 1822 he attended the Academian Etienne de Jouy’s Salon. There he met the elite of the liberal political opposition (…). In 1824, Bra was initiated to the masonic Lodge of Parfaite Union of Lille and Douai. (…) Like many of his contemporaries, Bra practiced clairvoyance and somnambulism. In 1826 he underwent a mystical crisis while experiencing spells of somnambulism an magnetism (now called hypnotism).
He recalled his experience as a «season in hell». (…) During the twenty-five following years, he went on questioning himself about the messianic meaning of this «mental exaltation» through the writings and drawings that he made on thousands of sheets of paper, prabably under many magnetic spells. In 1851, he bequeathed these pages to his native city of Douai. (…) They were rediscovered in the 1960’s by Professor Jacques de Caso who subsequently published Bra’s extensive autobiographic account under the title L’Evangile Rouge».

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