19 Jan

So we’re going have one more paintings/art movement day.

Carlos Schwabe, The Death of the Grave Digger

From 1885 to 1910, while the Aesthetics and the Decadents were bursting with life, Symbolism was also in full swing. In fact, there isn’t much of a line between these genres. You can find many names under all three categories, although Symbolism was centered more in France, Belgium and Russia and does has some particular characteristics.

Odilon Redon, Muse On Pegasus

They were about the mystical and the visionary.

Gustave Moreau, Oedipus the Wayfarer

Alphonse Osbert, The Songs of the Night

One cannot of course have a movement without a manifesto. “In this art, scenes from nature, human activities, and all other real world phenomena will not be described for their own sake; here, they are perceptible surfaces created to represent their esoteric affinities with the primordial Ideals

Boecklin, Isle of the Dead

Fernand Khnopff, Flaubert

The Symbolists included poets too, such as T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gustave Kahn, Baudelaire (who was involved with all of these movements) and Rimbaud.

Gustav Klimt, Death and Life

The importance of these three entwining movement, Aesthetic, Decadent and Symbolism, aside from their own beauty in and of themselves, is that they formed the launch pad of what would become 20th century abstraction. It is the Aesthetic trinity that crossed the barrier which led to modern art. If you take Impressionism and combine it with the Aesthetic trinity (and get drunk) you can see how Kandinsky, Klee, Picasso, Matisse, Franz Marc and modern art in general was the next logical step forward.

Vasily Polenov, Christ and the Sinner

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Uncategorized


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