Lord Have mercy
Seigneur Prenez Pitié… (original French title)
Aquatint printed in blue and warm-gray inks on wove BFK Rives paper, circa 1918.
This plate was possibly conceived for an illustration of Là-Bas by the symbolist author Joris-Karl Huysmans, though we were unable to verify this. It does however refer to the line from A Rebours by the same author: « Seigneur, prenez pitié du chrétien qui doute, de l'incrédule qui voudrait croire, du forçat de la vie qui s'embarque seul, dans la nuit, sous un firmament que n'éclairent plus les consolants fanaux du vieil espoir ! ». The memento mori depicts the artist hearing heavenly music as Thomas Diofoirus, the doctor from Molière’s Malade Imaginaire looks on, ready to cure the delusion… This is a composition delicately depicting the struggles and solitude of creators toiling in doubt, and looking for any sign of affirmation.