Symbolist Generation

Pierre Louis Mathieu, Author Rizzoli International Publications $50 (219p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1218-9
Symbolist art bypasses the rational mind to speak directly to the soul. By this definition, Edvard Munch, Gustave Moreau, Paul Gauguin, Felicien Rops and other well-known proponents of symbolism are joined by van Gogh, Klimt, Rouault, Ryder, Mondrian and other artists who at various times produced symbolic, visionary works. In a revelatory survey, Mathieu, professor of literature at the University of Paris, views symbolist paintings within a framework that encompasses the visions and fantasies of Poe, Baudelaire, Wilde, Strindberg and Wagner. While the first half of the volume concentrates on the movement's originators (pre-Raphaelites, Odilon Redon, etc.) and on French symbolism, the second half selectively scans the spread of symbolism throughout Europe, from Flemish painter James Ensor's mystical upwellings full of acid social satire to Scottish art nouveau disciple Charles Rennie Mackintosh's metaphysical watercolors of plant life. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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