Ninth Gate Balkan Lecture Lobby Card

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Odin82

Well-Known Member
Yep, tried it a few times myself. I've imported the image in the past to photoshop, enlarged the image with bicubic smoothing, converted to lab colour, ran the smart sharpening filter on the lightness etc to improve the quality... no luck.

Just about to watch the film before work in order to listen to the Polanski audio commentary (never listened to it yet), and see if there are any clues, as apparently he talks about every scene, how everything is meant to be there, the artistic meaning etc.
 

Brigandia36

Sr Member
Yep, that's what I thought / think too. However, Francesco Sole, the artist, in the past has sold off signed prints of his illustrations for the film, but none of this image it seems. There's a part of me that thinks I've seen this image somewhere else, be it in another film, or a youtube documentary... but that could be my mind playing tricks on me.

I've ask Francisco Sole about the image, but he did'nt draw this one.
 

Odin82

Well-Known Member
Thank you for clearing that up!. That's one less line of inquiry. I presume you are still searching too?


Okay... the picture.. what does it appear to be:

To me it seems to be someone casting out evil spirits, St. Paul maybe?

I think it is some French Art of the Catholic persecution of the Huguenot / Calvinists / Protestants. The guy that sourced the art was a French man named Philippe Turlure . Later in the film, when Corso is meeting Kessler, his secretary walks him down a corridor, and there is a similar piece of art on the wall.
 
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Odin82

Well-Known Member
We need to find someone with some French art history knowledge! In the director's commentary, Polanski says it was Turlure that was responsible for sourcing these items for set decoration. Man, now I'm trying to find both the images! This quest is our own version of Dantes circles of hell!


Well, after spending the day at it, still sick so day off work, I made a huge amount of progress. Contacted the furniture/ paintings / prop suppliers for "The Ninth Gate." Unfortunately, the production didn't acquire the lobby card image from them. But on a positive, they had paintings that were used, so I acquired images of the paintings used in the film that I was searching for!.


Back to the search for the lobby card image!
 
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Odin82

Well-Known Member
http://www.soubrier.com/en/

That's the company Turlure used to rent items for the set decoration. In the film, most rooms were empty buildings that had to be completely decorated from the ground up, according to Polanski's commentary.

Next up, google other prop rental companies in Paris, and hopefully they have a catalogue online, like the site above.


Update, now browsing through 36,133 engraving prints on: http://www.magnoliabox.com/index.cfm?event=catalogue.qsearch&searchString=engraving&pageStart=301

Just to save other people searching if this site turns up fruitless.

Right, after all this time searching for it, I'm of the belief that the image on the lobby card is only a fraction of a larger renaissance mural or fresco etc. The composition of the image seems strange, with something on the left foreground that seems cut off, leading me to think, it's only a segment of a larger image, which I do believe is some renaissance depiction of some martyrdom or something, and maybe converted to black and white. And on that note... I'm out.... :D Very difficult :/
 
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Odin82

Well-Known Member
Having revisited this over the last couple of days, I've searched a bunch of more books that were referenced in the novel and movie, and nada result wise for a matching illustration. The list of books from the novel is on the Wiki Page

The books I've checked are:
  1. Corpus Hermeticum.. Hermetica Vol Two
  2. De la démonomanie des sorciers . Jean Bodin 1587
  3. Dictionnaire infernal; répertoire universel des êtres, des personnages, des livres, des faits et des choses qui tiennent aux esprits .. by Collin de Plancy, 1863
  4. Disquisitionum magicarum libri sex
  5. Disquisitionum magicarum, liber primus (Martino Del Rio)
  6. Georgius Agricola De re metallica 1912
  7. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Venice, 1499) printed by Francesco Colonna
  8. Nicolai Remigii ... Daemonolatreiae libri tres. Ex iudiciis capitalibus nongentorum plus minus hominum, qui sortilegij crimen intra annos quindecim in Lotharingia capite luerunt 1595 & 1596 editions.
  9. Malleus Maleficarum. 1519 Lyon edition
  10. Praxis criminis persequendi, elegantibus aliquot figuris illustrata, Ioanne Millaeo Boio Syluigniaco, ... authore 1540 and 1541 editions.
All the books can be found at Archive.org.

Just to save anyone else the trouble if a person is still searching for the illustration.
 

Brigandia36

Sr Member
Just to say, I contact many of the prop guys they work on the movie and nobody remember where they add the picture. Even Roman Polanski didn't remember (yes I phone him :love:) So members, It's our Graal, this Picture. Continue the quest !
 

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Odin82

Well-Known Member
If somebody can post better image of the illustration. Thank you. From the bluray version ?


I've searched for production stills over the years, in hopes of maybe finding better pics, but no result. It's a hard film to search for. Having to use Italian / Spanish / French translations on be it google fr/es/it , or French auctions sites like Delcampe etc. Damn, I've even expanded into searching German stuff. It being a European production with locations in various countries, it's so hard to track things down. But alas, it's the thrill of the chase!

Might be worth checking out the credits for the "Continuation" person, as that person would have a fortune of still images taken from the production.

Edit: But I reckon, 4K version is our only hope, and I don't think that's even on the horizon. The last screen cap was from the Blu-Ray.

If someone can find the first 1-5 issues of The Tree Of Knowledge Encyclopaedia, I can guarantee the image is in there under the "Art & Man* part. I remember seeing the image there, and the people on the left of frame looking up at the hovering demons, and the look of terror on their faces (spent way too long admiring the art in there as a kid). On the same page was those headless body / Bemmyes art of the medieval headless body art

Worst thing is, it's in the home attic, and I know exactly the location and spot where the Encyclopedia Binder is.
 
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MAKE BELIEVE

Sr Member
No luck Odin?
I've sent the pic to a few persons that have written stuff reagarding this and / or other subjects and they could not help...
Will keep on...
 

Odin82

Well-Known Member
No luck yet unfortunately.

Found The Tree of Knowledge encyclopaedia in the home attic - no luck, so the only other collection that I owned was a series called "Discovery" where I am very sure I've seen the image. However, I don't want to have to buy the entire collection, when I only had like 10 issues. Can't find any scans of them online.


Progress this holiday season, was working through the entire catalogue of the Metropolitan Museum of Art of their engravings, but site crashed half way through. Also searched through the engravings of various releases in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" on archive.org also/


Simultaneously working through searching the works of engravers at the moment:

Jan Luyken
Jacques Collot (had the flying demons in a lot of his work)
Jean Le Pautre
Antoine Le Pautre
Theodor De Bry
Antonio Tempesta
Giuseppe Maria Mitelli
Daniel Hopfer
Jean Cousin the Younger
Thomas de Leu
Jacques Bellange
Jean Duvet

Working through this list on Wikipedia of French Engravers List of French engravers - Wikipedia Next batch is the 17th Century lists.

Honestly, I'm close to permanently giving up sadly, or else I'll be back in another year and pick up from there!
 
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Odin82

Well-Known Member
Have worked my way on the list up to Jacques Chereau in the list of the 18th Century ones since I said I give up! No escape hahah

If no luck with the French engravers, might move to Spanish engravers after.


Edit: Right, got to Guillaume Nicolas Delahaye in the list of the French 18th Century. Going to move onto the Spanish list Category:Spanish engravers - Wikipedia Unfortunately it's not chronological as.
 
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MAKE BELIEVE

Sr Member
When I first received the notification and only could read the thread title and the member that posted it, I thought to myself "Odin found the engraving!". But then, sadly it wasn't this time yet...
As Jintosh said, never say never and take a break. You've done an enormous work so far, so pls don't give up.
I want you to know that we (I think I can speak for all that are interested on this thread) are very thankful for the search (and time) you're taking with this. Maybe the new year will bring good news.
Again thank you for your continuos efford
 

Odin82

Well-Known Member
Another line of inquiry I've been thinking about today, after an engraving I spotted earlier, whether the engraving /etching is in fact an illustration of Faust, and Mephisto hovering above. Would play into the theme of Langella's character and wanting all the power from the Devil etc - in fact, the lobby card would give the entire story away. For example the end scene: For example:

I might be way off the mark, but the lobby card being an illustration of Faust / Mephisto makes 100% sense to have right there on that scene, and as Polanski said, everything was there for a reason.

The other engraving that sparked this line of inquiry was:

"The Death of Saints Faustinus and Jovita of Brescia by the Order of the Emperor Hadrian"

emuse_704.jpg


Thoughts? Anyone here have knowledge on Faustian stuff? Maybe books/editions of the Faust book may be worth checking for illustrations

Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend, based on the historical Johann Georg Faust (c. 1480–1540).

The erudite Faust is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a pact with the Devil at a crossroads, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. The Faust legend has been the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical works that have reinterpreted it through the ages. "Faust" and the adjective "Faustian" imply a situation in which an ambitious person surrenders moral integrity in order to achieve power and success for a limited term.[1][2]

The Faust of early books—as well as the ballads, dramas, movies, and puppet-plays which grew out of them—is irrevocably damned because he prefers human to divine knowledge: "he laid the Holy Scriptures behind the door and under the bench, refused to be called doctor of theology, but preferred to be styled doctor of medicine".[1] Plays and comic puppet theatre loosely based on this legend were popular throughout Germany in the 16th century, often reducing Faust and Mephistopheles to figures of vulgar fun. The story was popularised in England by Christopher Marlowe, who gave it a classic treatment in his play The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (whose date of publication is debated, but likely around 1587).[3] In Goethe's reworking of the story two hundred years later, Faust becomes a dissatisfied intellectual who yearns for "more than earthly meat and drink" in his life.


Either way, I think heading towards German engravers / etchings is the way to go.
 
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MAKE BELIEVE

Sr Member
I think you may have a point in there. Didn't think of that
German (and spanish) engravers may also a searching direction
Sorry, can not help you on the Faustian theme (what I know is the basics that most people know...)
 

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