The Symbolist Painters

The Symbolist movement was an artistic uprising opposed to Naturalism, Realism and Impressionism. Jean Moreas's Symbolist Manifesto, published in Le Figaro in 1886, stated that realism was obsolete and declared that symbolism was the model to be treasured hence forth. The basic philosophy of  this aesthetic movement was a belief that the passing tangible world is not true reality, but a reflection of the unseen Absolute.  The writings of Edgar Allan Poe, and Joris Karl Huysmans, and the Gothic and Romanticism style were  major influences. Painters based their imagery on magical, sacred and occasionally mythological themes. Some painters combined painting with mythology, inspired by literary symbolism, exoticism and orientalism. Odilon Redon’s images seems to drift, even having an element of Japanese Painting.   A significant number of the artists dabbled in sorcery, witchcraft and ancient Druid religion. 

Symbolist Writers: Joris-Karl Huysmans, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, T. S. Eliot, Renée Vivien, William Blake, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Albert Samain, Rémy de Gourmont

A List of the Greatest Symbolist Painters 

Man Ray American 1890-1976

Odilon Redon 1840-1916

Edvard Munch Norwegian, 1863-1944

Gustave Moreau French  1826-1898

Diego Rivera Mexican,  1886-1957

William Blake British, 1757-1827

 The Symbolists Image Gallery

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