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Gauguin: The Origins of Symbolism

Gauguin: The Origins of Symbolism
Richard Schiff, Richard R. Brettel, Guy Cogeval, Mary Ann Stevens, Lola Jiminez Blanco

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Description

Impressionist and Symbolist painter, Paul Gauguin became one of the major influences on the general non-naturalistic trends of twentieth-century art. Because of the romantic appeal of his life, and his willingness to sacrifice everything for his art, Gauguin has been with Van Gogh the most common subject for popular and fictional biography. From the mid-1880s until his departure for Tahiti in 1891, Gauguin moved beyond Impressionism to become the leading figure of the Symbolist movement in painting. This departure from Impressionism led him to question the entire 'naturalist' tradition of European art from the Renaissance onwards. He sacrificed all of painting's descriptive devices in favour of line and flat colour. His path towards Symbolism can also be characterised as a 'primitive' quest, developed both in iconography and style. In the iconographic level, this tendency starts from the use of a number of pastoral themes representing scenes of rural life. This spiritual return was accompanied by a stylistic regression, a leap from naturalism towards archaic modes of representation.

This catalogue, which accompanies an exhibition at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid (28 September 2004 - 9 January 2005), follows this process of regression through a series of encounters between Gauguin and his masters, his contemporaries and his pupils.

Author Info

Guillermo Solana is Principle Lecturer of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts at the University Autonoma of Madrid; Richard Shiff is Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art, Department of Art and Art History, the University of Texas at Austin; Guy Cogeval is Director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; and Maria Dolores Jimenez-Blanco is Principle Lecturer at the Department of Humanities at the University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona.

Review

'the catalogue, amply illustrated with beautiful colour plates, clearly demonstrates that Gauguin's Symbolism was not simply a by-product of the literary movement, but had a distinct pictorial foundation.'
Burlington Magazine

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd
Publisher: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd

Hardback
ISBN: 9780856675959
Publication Date: 12 Nov 2004
Number of Pages: 400
Height: 280
Width: 240
Illustrations: 240 colour & 30 b/w illustrations

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