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Symbolism Fin de Siècle Europe Flight from modernity and critique of European culture, a reaction against the19th century’s dominant ideologies of positivism.

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Presentation on theme: "Symbolism Fin de Siècle Europe Flight from modernity and critique of European culture, a reaction against the19th century’s dominant ideologies of positivism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Symbolism Fin de Siècle Europe Flight from modernity and critique of European culture, a reaction against the19th century’s dominant ideologies of positivism and faith in progress, science and technology. Objective optical “realism" of Impressionism is rejected for the representation of personal symbols, memory, imagination, and dreams to evoke a sympathetic understanding of the artist's “Idea” in the viewer, as music does. "Art has gone through a long period of aberration caused by physics, chemistry, mechanics, and the study of nature....Artists, having lost all their savagery, went astray on every path." Paul Gauguin

2 Henry Fuseli (Anglo-Swiss,1741–1825), The Nightmare, 1781, oil on canvas, 40 x 50 in., Detroit Art Institute. 18 th Century Romanticism. The dreamer and the dream. The subjective vision is a universal subject of art.

3 Symbolism and Decadence Subjective visions Correspondences Nature is a temple in which living pillars Sometimes give voice to confused words; Man passes there through forests of symbols Which look at him with understanding eyes. Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance In a deep and tenebrous unity, Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day, Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond. Charles Baudelaire, 1857 Baudelaire's Theory of Correspondences in which objects become signs for the artist's personal ideas and feelings includes the idea of "Synesthesia" in which the 5 senses yield equivalent and concomitant responses, so that a line can be "noble" or "false“ (Gauguin), a shade of yellow, "sour" and clanging (Kandinsky).

4 Paul Gauguin, Mallarmé (Nevermore), lithograph published in a Symbolist art and literature magazine, 1891

5 Paul Gauguin, Spirit of the Dead Watching (Manao Tupapau), 1892. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 in., Albright Knox Art Gallery. Symbolism. Equivalent “reality” of the dreamer and the dreamed

6 Paul Gauguin, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (D'où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous), oil on burlap, 55 × 148 in., 1897–1898. Symbolism and Primitivism

7 Paul Sérusier, The Talisman, 1888, oil on cigar box lid The Nabis, Pont Aven “School” of Gauguin (“Studio of the North”) “Remember that a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude, an anecdote or whatnot, is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.” Maurice Denis, Definition of Neo-Traditionalism, 1890

8 James Ensor (Belgian Symbolist, 1860-1949), Self Portrait with Masks, 1899... and my suffering, scandalized, insolent, cruel, malicious masks... I have joyfully shut myself in the solitary milieu ruled by the mask with a face of violence and brilliance. James Ensor

9 James Ensor, Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889, 1888, 99 x 169,” oil on canvas, The Getty Compare Dostoyevsky's The Grand Inquisitor from The Brothers Karamazov

10 James Ensor, detail of Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889 Compare with (right) Hieronymus Bosch (Netherlandish c. 1450-1516) Christ Carrying the Cross, ca. 1515-1516, oil on wood.

11 Edvard Munch (Norwegian Symbolist-Expressionist 1863-1944) Self Portrait with Cigarette, 1895, oil on canvas, 46 x 34 in. Munch lived off and on in Paris between 1889-1892 AUDIOSS/index.html AUDIOSS/index.html Open link for a short video of the major 2009 “Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety, Myth” Chicago Art Institute exhibition

12 Edvard Munch, The Vampire, oil on canvas, 1893

13 Munch, Puberty, 1895, oil on canvas, 60 x 43”

14 Edvard Munch, The Dance of Life, 1899-1900, oil on canvas, 49 1/2 x 75,” National Gallery, Oslo. Part of The Frieze of Life, the series that contained most of Munch’s major paintings

15 Munch, The Lonely Ones, woodcut, 1894, and painting, 1935

16 Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893, Casein/waxed crayon and tempera on paper (cardboard), 35 7/8 x 29,“ National Gallery, Oslo (Left) Munch, The Scream, 1893, woodcut “I was walking along the road with two of my friends. The sun set — the sky became a bloody red. And I felt a touch of melancholy — I stood still, dead tired — over the blue-black fjord and city hung blood and tongues of fire. My friends walked on — I stayed behind — trembling with fright — I felt the great scream in nature.”

17 The version of The Scream owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, sold at Sotheby's for a record US $120 million at auction on 2 May 2012

18 Gustav Klimt (Austrian Symbolist / Vienna Secessionist, 1862-1918), Idyll, 1884, oil on canvas, Vienna, decoration for the Kunsthistorisches Museum

19 Gustav Klimt, Death & Life, oil on canvas, 1916

20 Joseph Maria Olbrich (Austrian, 1867-1908) Vienna Secession building, 1898, Jugendstijl (Austrian Art Nouveau) Above the entrance:“To every age its art and to art its freedom” Gustav Klimt was first President of the Vienna Secession, founded in April 1897 by Klimt, Koloman Moser,Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich

21 Vienna Secession Building, Jugendstijl details of front. Designs attributed to Koloman Moser (Austrian Painter and Designer, 1868-1918)

22 Gustav Klimt, detail from The Beethoven Frieze: The Hostile Powers, 1902, Casein paint on stucco, 220 x 635 cm, Vienna Secession building, lower floor

23 Gustav Klimt, Beethoven Frieze, (left) 1902 exhibition; (right) 2010 photo, Vienna Secession building lower floor.

24 Gustav Klimt, Beethoven Frieze: Praise to Joy, the God-descended, 1902 Casein paint on stucco, 220 x 470 cm

25 Koloman Moser, Bookcase, 1903, made by Caspar Hrazdil, Vienna, Thuya and Lemon Wood, Brass, and Glazed Glass, 57 x 39 x 16 in. (right) Moser, cover design for Ver Sacrum (Rite of Spring), international Jugenstijl magazine of Vienna Secession, published from January 1898 to October 1903. Formation of the The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop)

26 Koloman Moser, Stained glass window for St. Leopold’s Church (Kirche Am Steinhof), 1905-7, the church of Vienna’s psychiatric hospital, Otto Wagner, architect.

27 The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), an Arts & Crafts Movement, established in 1903, brought together architects, artists and designers committed to design (primarily jewelry, fabrics for clothing, ceramics and pottery, and furniture). (right) the Stoclet Palace, Brussels, Belgium, designed by Josef Hoffmann and built by the Weiner Werkstätte, 1905-11, This integration of architects, artists, and artisans makes it an example of Gesamtkunstwerk: the first aim of the Vienna Workshop. Wiener Werkstätte logo

28 Stoclet Palace dining room, marble walls with frieze, The Tree of Life, by Gustav Klimt, 1909, a mosaic white and multi-colored majolica, semi- precious stones and gold tiles. The Vienna Secession’s “total work of art” detail

29 Auguste Rodin, Gates of Hell, 1880-1917, with detail (right) Symbolist and Expressionist sometimes associated with Impressionism because of the gestural texture of the relief

30 Detail of Rodin’s Gates of Hell: Fugit Amor Modernist aesthetics of fragmentation and the issue of “originality” (vs. the copy / reproduction) as a modernist myth

31 Sculpture exhibition Paris World Fair 1900

32 (left) Auguste Rodin (French Sculptor, 1840-1917) in studio with collection of antique sculptures: fragments with Balzac study (right) artist among his “fragments”

33 Rodin, Detail of Gates of Hell with The Thinker and sources: Michelangelo and Durer Durer, Melancholia, 1515 Night, Michelangelo, 1520–34 Michelangelo, Last Judgment, 1535

34 Constantin Brancusi (Romania, 1876-1957) (left) Vitellius, 1898 (right) Brancusi in Paris studio, 1933 The Saint of Montparnasse Brancusi was an admirer of 17 th c. Tibetan monk and poet, Milarepa of the Himalayas

35 (left) Constantin Brancusi, Sleep, 1908 (right) Medardo Rosso (Italian 1858-1917) Ecce Puer, 1896 “We are nothing but a play of light” (Rosso)

36 Constantine Brancusi, Child Supplicant, bronze 1906 and Newborn, 1915 (right)

37 Constantin Brancusi, Sleeping Muse, life-size, bronze, 1910

38 Constantin Brancusi, The Origin of the World, 1924

39 Brancusi’s quest for the essential (true) “sign” is shared by Henri Matisse and many other modernists. Constantin Brancusi, clockwise from upper left: Supplicant Child, 1906; Sleep, 1908; Sleeping Muse 1910; Newborn, 1915; and two versions of The Origin of the World, 1920s

40 Constantin Brancusi, The Kiss, 1907 version (left) and the Memorial park at Tîrgu Jiu, Romania showing the The Gate of the Kiss, 1937 and part of contemplation group The Kiss, which symbolizes the marriage of the material and the spiritual, life and death, and in general the dialectical unification of the dualities of human experience

41 Brancusi, Endless Column, Memorial park at Tirjiu Jiu cast iron with copper coating, 1937

42 Brancusi, Endless Column, (left) under re-construction, 1999 (center) Segments of Endless Column (right) Donald Judd, (US Minimalist sculptor, 1928-1994) Untitled, 1970

43 Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space, 1925, marble, stone, and wood Brancusi’s Paris studio 1927 – photographs by Brancusi “All my life I have sought the essence of flight. Don’t look for mysteries. I give you pure joy. Look at the sculptures until you see them. Those closest to God have seen them”

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