Place: Trade Fair Palace
The print department introduces another selection of interesting symbolist artists from our collections. The international avant-garde movement, of which symbolism was a part, spread all over Europe towards the end of the 19th century. The exceptionally perceptive artists were inspired by Paris's artistic openness. However, what was tolerated in Paris, would not pass in other places. Spontaneous artistic expression provoked mainstream society, leading to public accusations and sometimes criminal charges.
Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 – 1898), the “prince of the poets,” was at the forefront of the Paris art scene. In the 1890s, he befriended the impressionist painter and sculptor, Pierre-Auguste Renoire (1841 – 1919), who painted the poet’s portrait and also illustrated his work. Félicien Rops (1833 – 1898), prominent exponent of the Belgian avant-garde, was among the initiators of symbolism. Working in Belgium and France, both his oeuvre and his personal life perfectly reflected the fin de siècle atmosphere. James Ensor (1860 – 1949) was another important Belgian painter. His unique style, based on grotesque motifs and light contrasts, greatly influenced modern art and expressionism in particular. Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944), a Norwegian painter and printmaker, represented a northern offshoot of symbolism. He transformed his psychical tension into an idiosyncratic style, employing expressive colours and deformed shapes. The legacy of Munch’s pessimism regarding human existence still reverberates in today's art. Munich painter Franz von Stuck (1863 – 1928) belongs to the era of great artists and visionaries. In his cult paintings, he integrated religious motifs, classical mythology, and modern natural-scientific theories of survival and their relation to sex. He advocated this unprejudiced artistic openness at the Munich academy as well. In Vienna, Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918), artist and mystic, was the founder of the secessionist movement. He promoted the modern aesthetic ideas that formed the new Viennese style. Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872 – 1898) also shared these ideas. He was the leader of the English aesthetic movement, as well as an illustrator and writer. As artistic editor at The Yellow Book, an avant-garde magazine, he experienced both popularity and public condemnation.
Trade Fair Palace, The Print Cabinet
Tram 6, 17 – Veletržní palác
Tram 1, 6, 8, 12, 17, 25, 26 – Strossmayerovo náměstí