Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910

Overview

A revelatory collection of Symbolist landscapes by Gauguin, van Gogh, Munch, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Strindberg, and more
This catalogue accompanies the first exhibition dedicated to landscapes by the Symbolists, the innovative movement whose artists took imaginative and emotional approaches to painting and embraced themes like music, nationalism, science, and modernity. The book focuses on major artists of the avant-garde such as Gauguin, van Gogh, Munch, Mondrian, and Kandinsky, ...

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Overview

A revelatory collection of Symbolist landscapes by Gauguin, van Gogh, Munch, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Strindberg, and more
This catalogue accompanies the first exhibition dedicated to landscapes by the Symbolists, the innovative movement whose artists took imaginative and emotional approaches to painting and embraced themes like music, nationalism, science, and modernity. The book focuses on major artists of the avant-garde such as Gauguin, van Gogh, Munch, Mondrian, and Kandinsky, and also showcases other inventive artists from throughout Europe such as Hammershoi, Hodler, Khnopff, and Gallen-Kallela, who are set alongside the visionary British artistry of Crane, Leighton, Watts, and Millais. The works illustrated here offer a range of poetic and suggestive interpretations of nature from the period 1880–1910, with essays by acknowledged experts in the field providing a new chapter in the history of landscape painting.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This coffee-table-sized exhibition catalogue is dedicated to symbolist landscape painting across Europe and provides an extensive introduction to Symbolism, its practitioners, and how this movement found an apt expression in landscape painting. As Rapetti points out in the introduction, Symbolist landscape painting is now relatively unknown, due to both landscape painting's strong association with Impressionism and 20th-century critics' emphasis on aesthetic qualities rather than subject matter. Subjects here include: Giorgio de Chirico's visions of dead and decaying cities; the luscious and fantastic visions of nature and the imaginary worlds of Claude Monet and Frantisek Kupka; Whistler's and Paul Signac's experiments with color; and the abstracted landscapes of Van Gogh and Kandinsky. Thomson eloquently articulates the essence of the relationship between Symbolism and landscape: "Landscape was so variously associative—legible to all, stimulant of emotion and mood, evidence of perpetual process, redolent of superhuman, even divine forces—that it gave the artist a common base matter from which to conjure up in paint feeling, ideals, and yearnings that were at once invisible, profound, and essential." Some nuances of these often misty paintings may be lost in reproduction, but this volume may spur readers to visit the originals. Illus. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500238912
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication date: 9/10/2012
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Thomson has been Watson Gordon Professor of Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh since 1996.

Rodolphe Rapetti is General Curator of Heritage and Associate Researcher at the Institut national de l’histoire de l’art in Paris.

Frances Fowle is Senior Curator at the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Anna-Maria von Bonsdorff is the Curator of Exhibitions at the Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery.

Nienke Bakker is Curator of Exhibitions at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

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