Carcosa Collection

LeMarchand and Munch
The Mysteries of the Lost Souls Compositions


Mad synergies


Edvard Munch was a seeker of the mysteries of life. In 1879 Munch enrolled in a technical college to study engineering, where he excelled in physics, chemistry, and math. The following year, much to his father’s disappointment, Munch left the college determined to become a painter. His father viewed art as an “unholy trade.”  His early work, in its daring, earned the ire of many.  Munch experimented with many styles, that often brought him unfavorable criticism from the press and garnered him constant rebukes by his father.

Munch also received his father’s ire for his relationship with Hans Jæger, the local nihilist who lived by the code “a passion to destroy is also a creative passion” and who advocated suicide as the ultimate way to freedom.  Munch came under his malevolent, anti-establishment spell. “My ideas developed under the influence of the bohemians or rather under Hans Jaeger. Many people have mistakenly claimed that my ideas were formed under the influence of Strindberg and the Germans…but that is wrong. They had already been formed by then.”

At that time, contrary to many of the other bohemians, Munch was still respectful of women, as well as reserved and well-mannered, but he began to give in to the binge drinking and brawling of his circle. He was unsettled by the sexual revolution going on at the time and by the independent women around him.


After numerous experiments, Munch concluded that the Impressionist idiom did not allow sufficient expression. He found it superficial and too akin to scientific experimentation. He felt a need to go deeper and explore situations brimming with emotional content and expressive energy. Under Jaeger’s commandment that Munch should “write his life”, meaning that Munch should explore his own emotional and psychological state, Munch began a period of reflection and self-examination, recording his thoughts in his “soul’s diary” The painting received a negative response from critics and from his family, and caused another “violent outburst of moral indignation” from the community.


Munch, bitter, seeking experiences in sensation, and dealing with rage, was a beacon for the sinister forces that met him when he arrived in Paris.  It was there that he first met the person calling himself Philip LeMarchand during the festivities of the Exposition Universelle.

Philip LeMarchand, claimed to be the descendent of the original Philip LeMarchand, the infamnous maker of mechanical wonders such as musical puzzle toys and clockwork singing birds.  Some claimed he had created dark puzzle boxes that were mystical/mechanical device that acted to unlock another dimension or plane of existence. The solution of the puzzle creates a bridge through which beings may travel in either direction across this "Schism". The inhabitants of these other realms may seem demonic to humans. Some claimed these strange artifacts were made using human sacrifaces by LeMarchand, who required human fat and bone in the construction of his boxes.

Dangerous Game

LeMarchand told Munch he was on the right path for artistic revelations, and gave him a special present of one of his devious puzzle boxes.
In Berlin, Munch involved himself in an international circle of writers, artists and critics.  During his four years in Berlin, Munch sketched out most of the ideas that would comprise his major work, The Frieze of Life.  He began to hoard his paintings, and resist selling them.  Munch began to produce the most convincing images of states of mind and psychological conditions, such as in Ashes, the figures impart a monumental, static quality. Munch's figures appear to play roles on a theatre stage, whose pantomime of fixed postures signify various emotions; since each character embodies a single psychological dimension, as in The Scream, Munch's men and women now appear more symbolic than realistic.

Painted in 1893, The Scream is Munch's most famous work and one of the most recognizable paintings in all art. It has been widely interpreted as representing the universal anxiety of modern man. Painted with broad bands of garish color and highly simplified forms, and employing a high viewpoint, the agonized figure is reduced to a garbed skull in the throes of an emotional crisis. With this painting, Munch met his stated goal of “the study of the soul, that is to say the study of my own self”.

The Cry

He later described the personal anguish behind the painting, “for several years I was almost mad…You know my picture, ‘’The Scream?’’ I was stretched to the limit—nature was screaming in my blood… After that I gave up hope ever of being able to love again.”

During this time period, Munch entered into strange states of consciousness, experiencing halluciantions and delusions.  He began to play with the strange toy LeMarchand game him years ago.  Soon after, LeMarchand appeared again at Munch’s home.  Leading up to 1908, it was then that the two of them worked together to create strange new puzzles that captured the feelings and madness of Munch’s Scream and other lost souls.  Thus came into existence the Boxes of Lost Souls, as well as other nightmarish tools to rend the barriers of existence with those things from… beyond.  His mission done, LeMarchand vanished back into the darkness he came from.

Beware what lies within

In the autumn of 1908, Munch's anxiety, compounded by excessive drinking and brawling, had become acute. As he wrote later, “My condition was verging on madness—it was touch and go.” Subject to hallucinations and feelings of persecution, he entered the clinic of Dr. Daniel Jacobson. The therapy Munch received for the next eight months included diet and "electrification" (a treatment then fashionable for nervous conditions, not to be confused with electroconvulsive therapy).  Munch's stay in hospital stabilized his personality, and after returning to Norway in 1909, his work became more colorful and less pessimistic.  He had to memory of the times he spent with LeMarchand, or at least he never admitted to it.  The various artifacts created in 1907 were not found in his belongings at the time of his death.

Lament Configuration

Yet they have been seen in various occult collections across the globe.  The Carcosa Collecton has been fortunate to amass a number of these strange objects for the exhibit.

The Darkness Within...

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Tome Tribute

"They say foul beings of Old Times still lurk in dark forgotten corners of the world, And Gates stll gape to loose, on certain nights, Shapes pent in Hell."

From Unaussprechlichen Kulten

Credits and Copyrights

Carcosa Collection and Website Bruce Ballon © 2010-2015 , Web Design Luke Shield and Bruce Ballon, Art / Graphics / Photos by Steve Lines and Bruce Ballon, music clip by Ennio Morricone

The Book

Thought of the Eon

There is a concept that is the corrupter and destroyer of all others. I speak not of Evil, whose limited empire is that of ethics; I speak of the infinite.

-Jorge Luis Borges