by Norbet Wolf
May 1884 saw the publication in Paris of a fin de siecle novel that became a perverse sensation on the European cultural scene.
A Rebours (translated both as Against the Grain and Against Nature) by Joris-Karl Huysmans was written as a seductive textbook of decadence, an antidote to the "banality" of the dominant literary styles, Naturalism and Realism.
Symbolism, whose influence would endure well into the modernist era, was an artistic religion-substitute, a spiritually charged cult of beauty.
A Symbolist picture or sculpture is deliberately mysterious.
In place of intellectual comprehension, the work seeks to have the beholder experience its esoteric depths like a vision.
It is no wonder that Symbolists created some of the most fascinating artworks of their age. Featured artists: Arnold Bocklin, Edward Burne-Jones, Puvis de Chavannes, Thomas Cole, Jean Delville, Maurice Denis, James Ensor, George Frampton, Paul Gauguin, Ferdinand Hodler, Ernst Josephson, Fernand Khnopff, Gustav Klimt, Max Klinger, Georg Kolbe, Frantisek Kupka, Frederick Lord Leighton, Jacek Malczewski, Hans von Marees, James Abbot McNeill Whistler, Piet Mondrian, Gustave Moreau, Edvard Munch, Nestor, William Degouve de Nunques, Pablo Picasso, Odilon Redon, Felicien Rops, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Giovanni Segantini, Charles van der Stappen, Franz von Stuck, Felix Vallotton, Elihu Vedder, and Georg Frederick Watts.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 96 pages
- Publisher: Taschen GmbH
- Publication Date: 28/04/2016
- Category: History of art & design styles: c 1800 to c 1900
- ISBN: 9783836507066