American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An ancient Greek mystery religion arising in the sixth century B.C. from a synthesis of pre-Hellenic beliefs with the Thracian cult of Zagreus and soon becoming mingled with the Eleusinian mysteries and the doctrines of Pythagoras.
- n. A short-lived movement in early 20th-century painting, derived from cubism but marked by a lyrical style and the use of bold color.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The mystical system of life and worship embodied in the Orphic poems and practised and inculcated in the Orphic mysteries. See Orphic.
- Orpheus + -ism; art sense coined by Guillaume Apollinaire. (Wiktionary)
- French orphisme, from Orphée, Orpheus, from Greek Orpheus. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Mr. Weightman is right about the renunciation of hermitism, to an extent (what Artaud rejects has been more usually titled Orphism), but Artaud's move is to Dionysius, from herald or singer to participant.”
“Finally, you have assemblages of lines that do not draw anything, even cubes or triangles; and we are assured that there is now a newest school of all, called Orphism, which, finding still some vestiges of intelligibility in any assemblage of lines, reduces everything to shapeless blotches.”
“Greek Religion (not just the sections on Orphism and Dionysos), Walter Burkert”
“If our amalgam of shamanistic Orphism, Enthusiasm, and Gnosticism can mask so successfully as Christianity, why cannot it as adroitly impersonate Buddhism and Hinduism?”
“Nyx, both associated with Orphism and very significant in that particular Greek religion.”
“The elusive connection between Orphism and Pythagoreanism rears its head with Brontinus, since the fourth-century author, Epigenes, reports that Brontinus is supposed to be the real author of two works circulating in the name of Orpheus (West 1983, 9 ff.).”
“Muller (1922-1958) absorbed the lessons of precedent-Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Orphism and the quiddities of the unclassifiable Paul Klee-with determination and fidelity.”
“Larionov's manifesto on Rayonism stated that it is a synthesis of Cubism, Futurism, and Orphism.”
“But in 1941 Linforth reexamined critically all the evidence for this belief; and since then skepti - cism about it has grown, until now Dodds (p. 147) can remark: “I must confess that I know very little about early Orphism, and the more I read about it the more my knowledge diminishes.””
“Others point out that to trace it to Orphism of which little is known is to beg the question of an even earlier source.”
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