Decadence and dark dreams: Belgian Symbolism - Boekenmarkt de Markies

Decadence and dark dreams: Belgian Symbolism

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The sensual gaze into the abyss - the morbid pictorial world of Belgian Symbolism

Sensuousness, magic, a profound momentousness and irrationality are the hallmarks of the new art movement of Belgian Symbolism, which emerged during the 1880s. From Georg Minne and Fellicien Rops to Fernand Khnopff and James Ensor, the portraits, figure paintings and landscapes revealed a fascination with the eerie and the nefarious, with Thanatos und Eros.

The remarkable feature of Belgian Symbolism is its predilection for the morbid and the bizarre. Death and decay became leitmotifs in art. In around 1900, artists tried to link a new mysticism with an extravagant and precious style. The central figure in this context was the femme fatale as an expression of excess and lust, often paired with echoes of the esoteric and the demonic. Many stimuli for European Symbolism had their origins in Belgium. This wide-ranging and lavishly illustrated volume examines this phenomenon.

William Degouve de Nuncques, Henry De Groux, Jean Delville, James Ensor, Émile Fabry, Léon Frédéric, Fernand Khnopff, Eugène Laermans, Georges Le Brun, Xavier Mellery, George Minne, Constant Montald, Félicien Rops, Léon Spilliaert, Charles van der Stappen et al.