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Elements of the Following Painting Styles are Found Within Moser’s Work

SYMBOLIST PAINTING was a movement that began in the latter part of the 19th century as a reaction to Realism and Impressionism. It was first defined by the writer Jean Moréas (1856-1910) in the Symbolist Manifesto.

The Symbolists were concerned with the importance of the dream state (le rêve) and aimed to explore experiences beyond the mundane world of practicality. Imagery based on the mystical, religious and sometimes mythological, were recurrent themes characteristically found in the work of the Symbolists.

Symbolism was above all, an aesthetic movement in which writers and painters focused on the suggestive journey of the imagination. The Symbolist dream was in essence a vision committed to fantasy and images of emotional potency bearing the ethos, “On ne a que soi” (“One has but oneself.”)

The Symbolist painters included Gustave Moreau (1826-1898), Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Maurice Denis (1870- 1943), Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898), Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921), Lucin Levy-Dhurmer (1865-1953) and Jean Delville (1867-1953) among many others.

EXPRESSIONIST PAINTING began in the early part of the 20th century and describes artwork that is emotionally expressive. It arose out of a German movement in the visual arts striving for enhancement and simplification of forms of expression.

Expressionist investigation is an extensive response to the external world. Focusing on the distortion of reality through exaggeration, strong coloration and rigorous brushwork, this movement sought to interpret emotion in a very raw and highly personal manner.

Art was to the Expressionists a way of realizing inner realities through the resources of the spirit. It was aimed to express the soul and not the skill of the artist. “Art comes from necessity, not from ability” became the underlying credo of Expressionism.

Representative of the Figurative Expressionists were the artists Emil Nolde (1867-1956), Egon Schiele (1890-1918), Gustav Klimpt (1862- 1918), Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) and Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980.)

CLASSICAL PAINTING, in itself not a defined style, but rather a category of several different styles embodying a similar ideal. Classicism places emphasis on older examples such as Greek and Roman antiquities which strive to accentuate ideas of perfection.

The Italian High Renaissance style of the 16th century sought to express a revival and rebuilding of classical principles based on logical and deliberate composition. The idealization of form itself became a spiritualized exercise aimed at uplifting the viewer towards a state of perfection and divinity.

Notable Renaissance painters included Raphael (1483-1520), Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519), Giovanni Bellini (1429-1507), Giorgione (1477- 1510) and Titian (1488-1576.)

The Mannerist style, which came into prominence after the death of Raphael in 1520, rejected the purely classical ideals of the early Renaissance traditions and created its own “maniera,” or style. Mannerism would then be more a style that is postclassical with purposeful and stylistic distortions of the classical ideal.

Mannerist painters of importance were Pontormo (1494-1556), Bronzino (1503-1572), Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540) and Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571.)


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