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Symbolist Art

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  66 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Though the Symbolist heyday in Paris was short-lived, the movement had an influence on painting in both duration and geographical range. Important Symbolist painters were at work in places as remote from one another as Munch in Oslo, Klimt in Vienna, and the young Picasso in Barcelona. It is through Symbolism, too, that the relationship between the English painting of the ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published June 26th 1985 by Thames & Hudson Ltd. (first published December 1st 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 115)
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I first read this in the 1970's, when I was into Surrealism. The Symbolist's were a big influence on the Surrealists. This was a good time of my life, exploring and getting to understand all these areas of art.
I enjoyed reading this again.
Symbolism was an important movement, one of the foundations for modernism. Writers were as much a part of the movement as artists were. Literature and poetry and painting mutually inspired and influenced each other. The Symbolists drew inspiration from a diver
Nate D
A broad if cursory overview of an extremely interesting period. Useful! Heavy on the pictures, which is great, though not nearly so many are in color as I might have liked.
The first time I read this book, it served as a relatively comprehensive introduction to Symbolist Art. Over fifteen years and many, many books later, I still find this to be a good starting point for studying the movement. There is a lot missing, and I wouldn't have necessarily made the same choices about what to include, but this is a solid, accessible overview.
Erik Graff
Aug 14, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: persons wanting to know about symbolist art
Recommended to Erik by: Janny M. Willis
Shelves: art
This is the book that introduced me to the symbolist and pre-Raphaelist art movements after a friend had noticed my liking for Burne-Jones, Rosseti and other members of the movement. I cannot rate the book without rating the pictures, most of which I loved.

Symbolism is a payoff for doing your homework in the sense that it plays on the West's rich history of symbolic motifs (many of them Christian and mediaeval) and legends. The works themselves are usually quite representational, albeit idealize
Sep 05, 2008 Jerome rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I read this book while doing research for my undergrad thesis on Huysmans. Lucie-Smith's text was very helpful for understanding the various strands of romanticism, pre-Raphaelite, decadent, and other movements that coalesced into "symbolist art." This is not a big book -- the reproductions don't allow for much detail; but the 185 illustrations, 24 in color, are a good sampling of the movement, and gave me a glimpse at some of the artists whose work I was unable to find elsewhere.
Chelsea H
Good overview but the assumptive scholarship drove me crazy. He makes some big claims that aren't very well supportive and has a lot of subjective statements. I know it's just a survey but I found it maddening.
Excellent overview which emphasises the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites on the Symbolists.
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