b. 1853, Javerlhac, France
d. 1914, Venice, Italy





FD port01After abandoning medical school, Fernand Desmoulin studied fine arts in Paris. He became an accomplished master in the field of engraving and etching, producing mainly conformist yet skillful portraits. Desmoulin become some sort of preferred engraver of the literary and artistic celebrities of his time.

In the last decade of the 19th century he experienced a series of hardships deeply upsetting him with the death of his first wife in 1894 and in 1899, the separation from his lover.

In this situation of depression, in 1900 he came into contact with spiritualism. Desmoulin hoped to get answers to his desperate situation and consolation from the spirits. For some time, he was in close contact with discarnate entities on the other side who advised him and gave him instructions. Finally, they began to guide his hand. Desmoulin began to write and draw automatically.

These mediumistic drawings are strikingly different from his conformist conscious works. His hand moved over the paper in rapid, sweeping sheets. A completely new freedom seems to manifest itself in these drawings of fascinating expressiveness. Figures seem on the verge of emerging from the twilight like fleeting apparitions, not yet fully formed, but also not remaining in the formless. The drawings seem like an artistic exploration of an intermediate realm, full of creative pictorial inventions, at times of romantic radiance, sometimes of expressive immediacy.





Permanent exhibition :
Musée Fernand Desmoulin, Brantôme-en-Périgord, France

2018 L'envol ou le rêve de voler, La maison rouge, 6/16/2018 – 10/28/2018
2018 Do the write thing 2: Read between the lines, Christian Berst Gallery, 4/26/2018 – 6/2/2018
2014 Le mur: Oeuvres de la collection Antoine de Galbert, La maison rouge, 6/14/2014 – 9/21/2014
2012 Entrée des médiums: Spiritisme et art d’Hugo à Breton à la Maison de Victor Hugo. Paris, 10/18/2012 – 1/20/2013
2010 Anatomia metamorphosis: Fernand Desmoulin, Dwight Mackintosh and Lubos Plny, ABCD Galerie, Montreuil, 3/11/2010 – 4/9/2010
2009 Leçons des ténèbres, Galerie Chrisitan Berst, Paris, 12/3/2009 – 1/9/2010
2002 Fernand Desmoulin, mediumistic works, Galerie Messine – Thomas le Guillou, Paris, 2/26/2002 – 4/6/2002



Ahmed, Djohar Si , "La traversée spirite de Fernand Desmoulin." Extract from the book by Djohar Si Ahmed, Comment penser le paranormal: Psychanalyse des champs limites de la psyche. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2006, pp. 224-230. [view online]
Bathe, Effie, "The automatic drawings of monsieur F. Desmoulin." Light, XX, December 8, 1900, pp. 587–8.
Fernand Desmoulin: Leçons des ténèbres. Paris : Galerie Christian Berst et Galerie Christophe Gaillard, 2009. [view online]
Lanoux, Jean-Louis and Djohar Si Ahmed, Fernand Desmoulin, Œuvres médiumniques (1900-1902), aux éditions abcd & Galerie Messine. Paris, 2002.
Dussol, Dominique, "L’œuvre médianimique de Fernand Desmoulin au musée de Brantôme." Le Festin n°16, 1995 [enlarged version: n°38, 2001.
Egidi, Francesco, Pittura e disegni metapsichici. Milano: Bocca 1954, pp. 14–16.
Moreau, Emile, "Une oeuvre spirite au Musée de Brantôme." Revue Spirite, 1953, pp. 4-10.
Wiendel, Henri de, "Les Dessins spirits de M. Fernand Desmoulin." La Vie Illustrée, 21 December 1900.

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