|Hesiod and the Muse 1891; Oil on canvas,|
59 x 34.5 cm , Gustave Moreau
The symbolists were the first artists to be interested in the inner world with the emotions and thoughts instead of the external one. Private symbols are used to reach those inner feelings and to activate them. Dreams and visions mystical experiences, the erotic and the perverse were some of the subjects to create a physiological impact. Women are usually portrayed as either virginal/angelic or sexual/threatening, the symbols to represent death, disease and sin are frequent.
In 1886 in France jean moreas published the first announcement of symbolism in art in addition to poetry.
|Young Woman in Kimono Reading, 1887, Emile Bernard|
Symbolism embraced a wide variety of artists. Emile Bernard, Maurice Denis , Paul serusier , georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin, gustave Moreau...gustave Kahn described symbolism as objectifying the subjective instead of subjectifying the objective, in 1886. Pierre puvis de chavannes' idealist, abstracted attitude was welcomed for for it's neutral aesthetic sense.
|Mary Visits Elizabeth. 1894 The Hermitage, St.Petersburg ,|
|Adam and Eve , Denis|
Symbolism lead the way for new waves and combination of different movements. It was in interaction with art nouveau , surrealism, decadent art.
|Daugters , Paul Serusier|
|Georges Seurat (1859 – 1891). Bathers at Asnières, 1884,|
|The Talisman by Paul Sérusier |
(see Impressionism, also)
|Gustave Moreau Salomé 1876|
|La mort du fossoyeur ("The death of the gravedigger")|
byCarlos Schwabe is a visual compendium of symbolist motifs.Death and angels, pristine snow,
and the dramatic poses of the characters all express symbolist longings
for transfiguration "anywhere, out of the world."