from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A religious movement in antiquity, supposed to have been founded by Orpheus.
  • proper n. A minor Cubist art movement focusing on pure abstraction and bright colours.

from The 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.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French orphisme, from Orphée, Orpheus, from Greek Orpheus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Orpheus +‎ -ism; art sense coined by Guillaume Apollinaire.


  • 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.

    A Wearying Task

  • 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.

    Artist and Public And Other Essays On Art Subjects

  • Greek Religion (not just the sections on Orphism and Dionysos), Walter Burkert

    the list « paper fruit

  • If our amalgam of shamanistic Orphism, Enthusiasm, and Gnosticism can mask so successfully as Christianity, why cannot it as adroitly impersonate Buddhism and Hinduism?

    ‘The American Religion’

  • Nyx, both associated with Orphism and very significant in that particular Greek religion.

    While we're on astronomy...

  • 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.

    Allusive, Eccentric Complex: A Different Kind of de Kooning

  • Larionov's manifesto on Rayonism stated that it is a synthesis of Cubism, Futurism, and Orphism. ARTLEX.

  • 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.”

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • 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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