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Symbolist Art in Context

Michelle Facos (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 280 pages
ISBN: 9780520255821
March 2009
$34.95, £28.00
The Symbolist art movement of the late nineteenth century forms an important bridge between Impressionism and Modernism. But because Symbolism, more than the two movements it links, emphasizes ideas over objects and events, it has suffered from vague and conflicting definitions. In Symbolist Art in Context, Michelle Facos offers a clearly written, comprehensive, and accessible description of this challenging subject. Reaching back into Romanticism for Symbolism's origins, Facos argues that Symbolism enabled artists (including Munch and Gauguin) to confront an increasingly uncertain and complex world—one to which pessimists responded with themes of decadence and degeneration and optimists with idealism and reform.
Introduction: What Is Symbolist Art?

1 Beginnings
2 Precursors
3 Decadence and Degeneration
4 Idealism, Religion, and Reform
5 Contested Gender
6 National Romanticism
7 Promoting Symbolist Art
8 Symbolist Currents
in the Twentieth Century

Select Bibliography
List of Illustrations
Michelle Facos is Associate Professor of Art History at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is the author of Nationalism and the Nordic Imagination: Swedish Painting in the 1890s (UC Press) and coedited (with Sharon Hirsch) Art and the National Identity at the Turn of the Century.
“The book contains a great deal of useful information and will prove a valuable textbook.”—Burlington Magazine
“This book offers a straightforward definition of Symbolism as the starting point for investigating a complex and imprecisely understood art movement.”—Nordicum-Mediterraneum

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