|India Rising Series -- "The Lost" acrylic on canvas|
Definition: Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the style originates with the 1857 publication of Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal.
“Symbolism developed new and often abstract means to express psychological truth and the idea that behind the physical world lay a spiritual reality. The emphasis is on expressing emotions, feelings, ideas, and subjectivity rather than realism.
“The work of symbolists is personal and expresses their own ideologies, particularly the belief in the artist's power to reveal truth. Symbolists take the ineffable, such as dreams and visions, and give it form.”
|Michelangelo's "Finger of God"|
In her book “Experimental Painting; Inspirational approaches to mixed media art” Lisa L. Cyr writes: “When one is free from inhibitions and preset expectations, the door opens for that spark of brilliance and magic to come through. Spontaneously and without effort, a highly imaginative world known only to the artist begins to reveal itself.”
Many symbolists combine "religious mysticism, the perverse, the erotic, and the decadent. Their subject matter is typically characterized by an interest in the occult, the morbid, the dream world, melancholy, evil, and death.”
Here are a few recognized symbolist painters and visual artists, which include Gustave Moreau, Gustav Klimt, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Jacek Malczewski, Odilon Redon, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Henri Fantin-Latour, Gaston Bussière, Edvard Munch, Félicien Rops, and Jan Toorop.
Color and the way it affects mood is often used to create a message or sharp response in the viewer, but we’ll discuss color in another blog. Today artists are free to use alternative styles by combining conventional approaches with innovation. There has been a modern day revolution of sorts in the way art is created and presented.
The artist Cyr, quoted earlier, calls this inventive approach “reinterpret, reinvent, and redefine.”
Below are some helpful Youtube videos.
Jake Baddeley - Symbolist painter
The Symbolist Paintings
Sometimes Impressionism and Symbolism overlap