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The Symbolist Painters

The Symbolist movement was an artistic uprising opposed to Naturalism, Realism andImpressionism. 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.  Gothic and Romanticism art styles were  also major influences. Odilon Redon stated"My drawings inspire and are not to be defined. They determine nothing. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous world of the undetermined. They are a kind of metaphor."

Some Symbolist Painters based their imagery on magical, sacred and occasionally mythological themes. Some painters combined painting with mythology, inspired by literary symbolism, exoticism and orientalism. Gustave Moreau  proclaimed"I am dominated by one thing, an irresistible, burning attraction towards the abstract." Odilon Redon’s images seems to drift, even having an element of Japanese Painting.   

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

Important Symbolist Painters 

Odilon Redon 1840-1916

Charles Guilloux French1866 - 1946

Edvard Munch Norwegian, 1863-1944

Gustave Moreau French  1826-1898

Alphonse Osbert French 1857 – 1939

 The Symbolists Image Gallery



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