Kingdom of the Soul: Symbolist Art in Germany, 1870-1920

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9783791323381: Kingdom of the Soul: Symbolist Art in Germany, 1870-1920
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Published to accompnay an exhibition, this volume outlines the link between the Pre-Raphaelite artists in Britain and the Expressionists on the Continent. It focuses on the crucial contribution made by artists in Germany to the European Symbolist movement as a whole.

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Symbolism was a European cultural movement that was at its peak in the last two decades of the 19th century, profoundly affecting the visual arts and inextricably bound up with music and literature. While many Symbolists reacted against the materialism of 19th century science and its implications, others sought to reconcile modern science with spiritual traditions. Symbolism stressed feeling and evocation over defintion and fact, and emphasized the power of suggestion.

The British artist Edward Burne-Jones is considered one of the most important precursors for other European artists who though of themselves as Symbolists, while in France, Paul Gaugin played a seminal role. Edvard Munch charged his oeuvre with such strong personal meaning that his style and content became a source for Expressionism. These influences fell on fertile soil in Germany where artists including Arnold Bocklin, Fredinand Hodler and Kathe Kollwitz worked within the Symbolist tradition. By focusing on this neglected German axis between 1870 and 1920, Kingdom of the Soul makes an important contrubution to our understanding and appreciation of this fascinating period in art history.

About the Author:

The Editors:

Ingrid Ehrhardt is Curator at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt am Main.

Simon Reynolds is an art historian based in London.

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