Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fin de siècle

Among the art blogs I follow are two that post lots of European paintings and drawings from the 1870 to 1910 period, Vertigo 1871 and Le Prince Lointain. I have an ambivalent relationship with art of the fin de siècle era. (Franz von Stuck, Head of Medusa, 1892)

Sometimes I like it – the sensuality, the creepiness, the striking images, an approach to art that is experimental without completely abandoning tradition. Most of the works I feature here could plausibly be called Symbolism. (Richard Teschner, Lack of Curiosity, 1913; Jean-Léon Gérôme, Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896)

But sometimes it seems trite, as if to be shocking were the only way to be interesting; the mood comes across more as bored than erotic or intriguing. (Jakub Schikaneder, Silhouette among the Trees, 1895; Giovanni Martoglio, La Chimera at the Theatre of Marionettes, 1908)

But when I am in the right mood, I love this stuff. (Ernst Moritz, View Toward San Miniato 1890; Ferdinand Keller, Passage, 1901)

Images from a new exhibit of Franz von Stuck's work at the Belvedere in Vienna; the painting is Satan.

Léon Spilliaert, Three Figures, 1904, and The House on the Digue, 1907.

Giovanni Martoglio, The Tryst, 1908.

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