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  11 months ago


Symbolism was a late 19th century movement whose artists communicated ideas through symbols instead of bluntly depicting reality. It was created as a reaction to art movements that depicted the natural world realistically, such as Impressionism, Realism, and Naturalism.

Symbolism first appeared as a literary movement that opposed rationalism and materialism that dominated Western culture in the late 19th century. The beginnings of the movement can be traced back to 1886 when writer Jean Moreas published his famous Symbolist Manifesto.

The manifesto proclaimed that every person, natural element and object should be used to represent a symbol of a deeper idea or emotion. Moreas believed that, rather than replicating reality, artists should suggest it with symbols. Though it began as a literary movement, Symbolism was quickly adopted by a group of young visual artists who followed its rules.

Symbolists artworks are marked with unmodulated colors, broad brushwork and flat, abstract forms. It's important to mention that Symbolists were a loose group of artists who had different artistic styles and techniques. But they all emphasized the importance of imagination and emotions over realism and rationalism, which made them members of the Symbolists movement.

And while Gustave Moreau painted detailed ornamental paintings inspired by mythology, Odilon Redon painted surrealist black and white drawings of body parts. James Ensor created a unique style based on grotesque, distorted figures. The art of Gustav Klimt and Edvard Munch combined Symbolism with Art Nouveau and Expressionism.

Key Facts of Symbolism
Instead of depicting their immediate reality, the Symbolists expressed emotions, thoughts and fantasies. Symbolists were looking for an escape from their everyday life. They found a sanctuary in their personal beliefs, fantasies, mythical and biblical stories. Love, erotism, sex, but also fear, decadence, death, and the occult are often featured in the Symbolists works.
Most Symbolist painted in wide strokes of unmodulated color creating flat, abstract figures and forms. The technique was popularized by Puvis de Chavannes, who used highly simplified forms to express abstract ideas articulately.


  11 months ago
I think Its fine.

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