September 06, 2008

Symbolist Art

I've always been fascinated by The Symbolists and Symbolist Paintings - even at school I did a study of this subject for my A Level Art Project. Years on, I look back at these somewhat morbid- some would say twisted- images and note their psycho-pathological slant with interest. Also, how powerful the images still are to rouse curiosity, to defy full explanation and remain enigmatic, impenetrable and strangely hypnotic. Yes, as you look at them long enough you find that you are lured into an even deeper trance.

It was as though these artists Jean Delville, Gustave Moreau, Fernand Knopff, Edward Coley Burne Jones, Odilon Redon, Felicien Rops, each in their own unique way, held up a mirror that reflected the oddities of the male artists' subconscious mind at the turn of the 2oth century. They are definite precursors of the Surrealists, thirty or forty years, and they were painting mind-boggling fantasy worlds long before Dali came along to show us how clocks bend.

Take a look at the gallery and see what each picture can stir up in the mind, but then remember to let any ghouls and it go and pass like clouds and enjoy the subtlety and plain weirdness of the Symbolist obsessions.

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