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Vurgey's Biography (Books)

Francis Vurgey, director of the Kumris lodge and affiliate of Papus's Rose-Croix order. Vurgey wanted to create an encompassing work of art entitled Pantaxe, based on a triple creation, the number 3 being, in numerology, the symbol of perfection in the union of opposites. Vurgey entrusted the musical aspect of his work to Jules Massenet and the plastic construction to Fernand Khnopff, of whom he requested a tripartite compostion, which explains the use of the triptych for L'Isolement.

Too constrained from a theoretical point of view, the work was never finished. Other artists used similar processes, notably Jean Delville, even though he did not create triptychs but rather series of works around the occultist theme of initiation, notably Parsifal (1894) and L'ange des splendeurs, which formed a diptych, and Orphee aux enfers (1896), which was a response to Orphee mort (1893). It is important to mention that the use of the triptych by Belgian artists does not by itself define this "occultist" dimension. In the works of Leon Frederic and Constantin Meunier, for example, this usage is for the most part of a social nature, since through returning to a format typical of religious imagery these artists intended to sanctify the representations of the people.

SOurce: Rapetti 1990, pp. 136-45.