Gustave Moreau Odilon Redon Paul Gauguin Symbolist Symbolist Synthetist
Symbolism and Synthesism are two similar art forms, which were created toward the end of the 19th century. Artists wanted to reject Realism and Impressionism, art forms of the mid 19th century, during which artists painted what they saw in its natural form. Both Symbolists and Synthetists believed that art should reflect an emotion or idea.
During the 19th century (1801–1900) many different empires collapsed (French, Spanish, Chinese) The British Empire became the worlds leading power, controlling one quarter of the worlds population. There was a scientific and spiritual evolution. The century was filled with discovery, developments in mathematics, science and technology. There were Advances in medicine and Europes population doubled from about 200 million to more than 400 million. The Second Industrial Revolution, occurred in Europe and improved the standard of living.
Symbolist ArtistGustave Moreau • Gustave Moreau was born in Paris, France. He was one of the leading Symbolist artists. • His paintings showed biblical and mythological subjects. • He used rich oriental colours.(6 April 1826 – 18 April 1898)
Jupiter et Semele (1894-95) • The painting represents physical love between a mortal and a god, showing the “overpowering experience that consumes Semele as the god appears in his supreme beauty” • Gustave uses vivid colours with dark shadows to emphasize certain areas. • He uses symbols to represent death (a woman holing a white lily), sorrow (a person holding a bloody sword), and earth (the “Great Pan”).
Symbolist ArtistOdilon Redon • Odilon Redon was a French Symbolist painter and printmaker. • During the 1890s he started painting. • During his early life he was unhappy, but after undergoing a religious crisis in the early 1890s and a serious illness in 1894-95, he changed into a much more joyful and cheerful person, expressing himself by using bright colors in mythological scenes and flower paintings, oils and pastel. ( 1840 – 1916)
Guardian Spirit of the Waters (1878) • In this artwork we see a huge head over the sea looking down on a tiny boat. The head is symbolic of the divine presence of God, watching over us. • The sky and sea are symbolic of the vastness of the universe and the tiny boat symbolic of human fragility. The picture combines spirituality and reality. The eye is also symbolic of our subconscious mind . • Redon used charcoals, black chalk, stumping, erasing, incising, with traces of white chalk, His lines are clear and simple.
Synthetist ArtistPaul Gauguin Gauguin was a French artist who first introduced the word Synthetism. Synthetism is a style of art in which the form (colour planes and lines) is synthesized with the major idea or feeling of the subject. His art style had areas of pure colour (little shaded areas ), strong lines, and an almost two-dimensional arrangement of parts. (1848–1903)
Vision after the Sermon (1888) • In this painting the artist aimed to create an emotional & spiritual experience. • It depicts a scene from The Bible, of a biblical figure, Jacob wrestling an Angel. • Gauguin combined outlined, simple shapes with solid patches of vivid color to symbolize the devout holiness of simple women.
I learned that simple artwork can be very effective. Like Symbolists and Synthetists, I also feel that art should convey emotions and not simply represent the world in its natural state. We are emotional and spiritual beings and we should be able to convey our dreams and feelings, so that others can share our experiences and emotions.