Symbolism is an art movement that came out sometime in the mate 19th Century. It initially originated in parts of France as well as Belgium in the form of poetry as well as in the other arts. In painting, the movement represented the development of a darker version of Romanticism.
The development of Symbolism as an art movement was essentially a reaction of artists against Realism and Naturalism, movements that aim to capture reality in its most natural form. Those who became Symbolist artists reacted to this approach in favor of imagination, spirituality and dreams. It eventually led to the development of other art movements that leaned toward abstraction.
The aim of Symbolists in art was to capture more absolute truths usually only accessed through indirect methods. They try to delve in metaphors and provide certain images and objects with symbolical meanings. Symbolism is even more explained through the Symbolist Manifesto written by Jean Moreas in 1886. Moreas indicated that Symbolism go against plain meanings and matter-of-fact descriptions and instead aim to "clothe the Ideal in a perceptible form" with the sole purpose of expressing the Ideal.
Symbolism In Art
In art, Symbolism was a means that delved further into some of the mystical tendencies of art in the Romantic tradition. The art movement has an even wider geographical reach as it also influenced painters from Russia to as far away as the United States. The images captured by Symbolist painters are usually mired deep in mythology and dreams. The different types of imagery used by most Symbolists are not the ones generally accepted in mainstream iconography. Most of the images and their meanings usually stem from the painter’s own personal views and dreams.
Impact And Influence
The Symbolism movement transcended over to more than just painting. Their influence also spread into poetry and literature. And their influence led to the development of other art movements such as Expressionism, Art Noveau and Surrealism.