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1. An ancient Greek mystery religion arising in the sixth century bc 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.
2. often orphism A short-lived movement in early 20th-century painting, derived from cubism but marked by a lyrical style and the use of bold color.

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

Or′phist n.


(Classical Myth & Legend) a mystery religion of ancient Greece, widespread from the 6th century bc onwards, combining pre-Hellenic beliefs, the Thracian cult of (Dionysius) Zagreus, etc
Orˈphistic adj


(ˈɔr fɪz əm)

a Greek religious movement of the 6th to 5th centuries b.c. whose mystic beliefs were expounded in poems allegedly written by Orpheus.


a short-lived development of Cubism c.1912 that attempted to enliven the original approach by subordinating the geometrical forms and using unmixed bright colors. — Orphist, n.
See also: Art
the religion of the Orphic mysteries, a cult of Dionysus (Bacchus) ascribed to Orpheus as its founder, especially its rites of initiation and doctrines of original sin, salvation, and purification through reincarnations. Also Orphicism. — Orphic, n., adj.
See also: Religion
References in periodicals archive ?
39), the influence of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire on him as a young man in Paris and a group of artists including Ferdinand Leger who were protagonists of the Orphism movement.
His perspectives include tragic worlds: narrating the Athenian polis; death is death is death: narrating a world of perennial suffering; mythological intertextuality: Alcestic and Heracles; and death is death is life: Eleusinian Orphism and moral courage.
Robert Delaunay's Orphism is rooted in modernity's bedazzling optical effects and, as his later work shows, is a very different project from the more robustly systematic and relational forms of abstraction emerging elsewhere, just as Leger's abstraction would also be a vivid if short-lived phase.
The show is really looking at his search for his own artistic identity, but we're looking at that through the prism of Cubism, Orphism, Supremitism.
Among her influences Mary lists the French artist Robert Delaunay who, with his wife Sonia, developed an art movement called orphism which featured strong colours and geometric shapes.
Fauvism, German Expressionism, Cubism, Orphism, Purism, Non-Objective Art, Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Op Art, Minimalism, Photo-Realism, Feminist Art, Neo-Expressionism, Post-Modernism, and Neo-Geo have all played out in the drama of conflicting styles and ambitions in the course of the century.
The most widely accepted theory is that the silence surrounding this mystery stems from the fact that it contained nothing that could be expressed in words; but this ineffability, as Erwin Rohde argued in his Psyche, is essentially different from mysticism, considered as a union with the divine: the mysticism in Ancient Greece was Orphism, not the Eleusinian mysteries.
These appear alongside shorter articles addressing everything from elephants and optics to oracles and Orphism.
As far as I am concerned, the "official" religion of Catholicism is just a huge facade of lies put up by various power combines to "keep the masses in subjection" just as in classical times there was the official religion of the State--the well-dressed gods of Olympus and the living religion of the religious--the mysteries, Orphism, Pythagoreanism, the Dionysiac and Artemis cults, etc.
We are fated to undergo a metamorphosis whose nature we can foresee only very imperfectly, and it is just on the idea of this metamorphosis that rests the revival of orphism whose imperious demands must be familiar to many of us today.
During his first thirty years as a painter, he moved restlessly from impressionism and postimpressionism through fauvism, orphism, cubism, dada, and surrealism, after which he skidded off on an idiosyncratic course that briefly visited many styles without settling into any one of them.
On this side of the bottleneck of metaphysics, gratuitous Orphism and tautology, the idea of poiesis, or creativity, abides as critical participation in one's own time.