It was in France and Belgium, the cradles of literary Symbolism, that Symbolist painting was born. Symbolist painters sought not to represent appearances but to express "the Idea," and the imaginary therefore plays an important part in their work. "Dream" was their credo; they execrated, with a fanatical hatred, impressionism, realism, naturalism, and the scientistic. The main principle of Symbolism, that of "correspondences," was to attain harmony between all the different arts, or even to realize the total work of art (Gesamtkunstwerk) that Wagner dreamt of creating. After a period of neglect, today we rediscover that Symbolist painting is essential to our understanding of modern art, the source of a series of mutations without which modern art would not be what it is. This extremely low-priced special edition has been issued in honor of Taschen's 25th anniversary. Big, hardbound, color.
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