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Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the movement had its roots in Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil, 1857) by Charles Baudelaire. The works of Edgar Allan Poe, which Baudelaire greatly admired and translated into French, were a significant influence and the source of many stock tropes and images. The aesthetic was developed by Stephane Mallarme and Paul Verlaine during the 1860s and '70s. In the 1880s, the aesthetic was articulated through a series of manifestoes and attracted a generation of writers. The label "symbolist" itself comes from the critic Jean Moreas, who coined it in order to distinguish the symbolists from the related decadent movement in literature and art.

Distinct from, but related to, the movement in literature, symbolism in art represents an outgrowth of the darker, gothic side of Romanticism; but where Romanticism was impetuous and rebellious, symbolist art was static and hieratic.

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Baalbek (részlet-1), 1906 - Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Baalbek (részlet-1), 1906
Tivadar Kosztka Csontváry
Nude Boy with Sword - Franz von Stuck - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Nude Boy with Sword
Franz von Stuck
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1887 - Viktor Vasnetsov - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1887
Viktor Vasnetsov
Centaur With Cello - Odilon Redon - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Centaur With Cello
Odilon Redon
A Meadow Flower - John White Alexander - www.symbolism-in-art.org
A Meadow Flower
John White Alexander
The Boat Aka Virgin With Corona - Odilon Redon - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Boat Aka Virgin With Corona
Odilon Redon
The Sorrowing Soul Between Doubt and Faith (1884) - Elihu Vedder - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Sorrowing Soul Between Doubt and Faith (1884)
Elihu Vedder
Endymion - George Frederick Watts - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Endymion
George Frederick Watts
The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1883 - Fernand Khnopff - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1883
Fernand Khnopff
A Stone Age Feast, 1883 - Viktor Vasnetsov - www.symbolism-in-art.org
A Stone Age Feast, 1883
Viktor Vasnetsov
The Birth Of Venus - Odilon Redon - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Birth Of Venus
Odilon Redon
Woman In Profile With Flowers - Odilon Redon - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Woman In Profile With Flowers
Odilon Redon
The Wounded Angel from 1903 - Hugo Simberg - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Wounded Angel from 1903
Hugo Simberg
A Bridge In Bruges - Lucien Levy-Dhurmer - www.symbolism-in-art.org
A Bridge In Bruges
Lucien Levy-Dhurmer
A Tavern in Ancient Rome 1867-68 - Arnold Böcklin - www.symbolism-in-art.org
A Tavern in Ancient Rome 1867-68
Arnold Böcklin
Choosing - George Frederick Watts - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Choosing
George Frederick Watts
A Sporting Lawyer, form Vanity Fair, 17th March 1898 - Leslie Mathew Ward - www.symbolism-in-art.org
A Sporting Lawyer, form Vanity Fair, 17th March 1898
Leslie Mathew Ward
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: the Rider on the... - George Frederick Watts - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: the Rider on the...
George Frederick Watts
Centaur Watching Fish, 1878 - Arnold Böcklin - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Centaur Watching Fish, 1878
Arnold Böcklin
La Calavera de la Catrina, 1913 - Jose Guadalupe Posada - www.symbolism-in-art.org
La Calavera de la Catrina, 1913
Jose Guadalupe Posada
Medusa, 1867 - Elihu Vedder - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Medusa, 1867
Elihu Vedder
The Welsh at Mametz Wood - Christopher Williams - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Welsh at Mametz Wood
Christopher Williams
The Unsmiling Tsarevna (Nesmeyana). 1916-1926 - Viktor Vasnetsov - www.symbolism-in-art.org
The Unsmiling Tsarevna (Nesmeyana). 1916-1926
Viktor Vasnetsov
Confiding Secrets - Edmond-Francois Aman-Jean - www.symbolism-in-art.org
Confiding Secrets
Edmond-Francois Aman-Jean
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