Nicolas Kalmakoff (1873-1955)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTOR
Nicolas Kalmakoff (1873-1955)

Flame V

Details
Nicolas Kalmakoff (1873-1955)
Flame V
signed with artist's device and dated '1927' (upper left); numbered 'V' (on the reverse)
oil on panel
53 ¼ x 21 ½ in. (135 x 55 cm.)
Provenance
Acquired by the present owner in France circa 2005.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Aleksandra Babenko
Aleksandra Babenko

Lot Essay

Héliodore Fortin (1889-1934), the author of La Bible des Esprits Libres, was born in Quebec and emigrated to Paris in 1912. In 1926, he founded the ‘Resurrectoir’, a religious syncretism. He attempted to unite elements from different religions, electing twelve ‘demigods’ including Buddha, Jesus Christ and Osiris. In 1927, Fortin commissioned Kalmakoff to produce a series of twenty-five panels for the interior of his Chapel of the Resurrected, located at 38 bis rue Fontaine in Paris. This esoteric series, depicting the evolution of humanity, was rediscovered in the town of Metz in 1964. 
According to Fortin, the series represents twelve ‘flames’ or stations, symbolising the path to deification. Flame V (lot 85), like the other eleven ‘flames’, has a divine light in the eyes and a redeeming halo; the head is turned towards a rising flame, symbolising the soul on its way to deification.
Odin (lot 87) and Huitzilopchtli (lot 86) are from the series of twelve demigods. In Norse mythology, Odin is associated with healing, death, royalty and knowledge. Considered as the most prominent æsir (Norse deity), Odin is depicted with raven wings adorning his helmet, a reminder of the two ravens that fly all over the world and tell Odin what they see and hear. For the Aztecs, Huitzilopchtli is a deity of war, sun, human sacrifice and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan. He is often depicted with a green hummingbird helmet.
After Fortin’s death, Kalmakoff designed Fortin’s funerary monument, unveiled in 1935 at the Cimetière parisien de Pantin.

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