There is a considerable dearth of information on the internet about the Russian Symbolist painter Nikolai Kalmakoff (1873-1955). He had roots in Russian, Italian and French art, and during his time in Paris around 1934, is reputed to have been deeply involved in occult practices. He is said to have become a recluse after the failure of his art exhibition of 1928, and ended up in a hospital for “indigents” later in life.
In any event, he has re-sparked my interest in the Symbolist movement of the nineteenth century which spread across literature, music and art. It is a movement which has received relatively little attention compared to its romantic cousin, more gothic, more enchanted with the forbidden, but it touched upon the work of such notable French artists as Claude Debussy (1862-1918) and Charles Baudelaire, and payed homage to the German philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).
For More Information:
Symbolism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. New York: Sothebys, 1980.