Symbolism And The Decadent Movement

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Born at the end of the 19th Century in France and spread over Europe during the 20th century, Symbolism opposed completely to Impressionism. While Impressionism focused on the reality of daily life, Symbolism suggested ideas through symbols, complemented by colours and shapes. Symbolism reacted against the materialism and soulless urbanization of the Victorian Era. With symbolism, spirituality, imagination, fantasy, dreams and visions were given form. In painting, the symbolism could be considered a revival of some mystical tendencies presented in the Romantic Tradition, and sometimes it was confused with the decadent movement. The symbols used in the paintings were not common symbols, easy to recognize, but deeply personal, private, obscure …show more content…
The movement was characterized by self-disgust, sickness at the world, scepticism, perversion and employment of crude humour and a belief in the superiority of human creativity over logic and the natural world. The works reflected their interest in sexuality, pleasure, the bizarre, all mix with a transgressive attitude and valued for the material excess. As well as symbolism, the decadents' work had to be interpreted, but as a difference symbolism was looking for esoteric truth, while the decadents were only focused on artificialness. Oscar Wilde, part of the movement as a writer, gave some definitions of art: "art never expresses anything but itself, all bad art comes from returning to life and nature and idealized them and life imitates art far more than art imitates life". Some representatives of the movement were: Fernand Khnopff, Gustave Moreau and Félicien …show more content…
The term cubism was coined by a critic after seeing some of Georges Braque’s paintings exhibited in Paris in 1908, described them as reducing everything to ‘geometric outlines, to cubes’. This style was influenced by Paul Cézanne’s work, especially his three-dimensional representations. Pablo Picasso, one of the most important representatives of the movement was also inspired by African tribal masks which are non-naturalistic, but nevertheless, represent a vivid human image. ‘A head’, said Picasso, ‘is a matter of eyes, nose, mouth, which can be distributed in any way you like’. In Cubism artwork, objects were analysed, broken up and reassembled in an abstract form, instead of showing objects from a single viewpoint, the artist exposed the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent it in a greater context. Perspective was not important to create art, they emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane, the realistic modelling of figures was not a concern for cubist artists either. Cubism opened up almost infinite new possibilities for the treatment of visual reality in art and caused a great impact that influenced others artistical movement as Futurism, Supremism, Dada, Constructivism, De Stijl and Art Deco. An important characteristic of the geometrical forms used to create the paintings was that it could be associated with the mechanization of the industrial revolution

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