Symbolism & Art Nouveau

Maurice Denis, April (Panel for a young girl’s room), 1892, oil on canvas, 38 x 61.3 cm (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo)
Nabi paintings do not allow viewers to get lost in the represented scene and forget that they are looking at colors applied to a surface.

The Nabis and Decorative Art

In the modern period artists recognized that the well-being of society and all its members were supported and enhanced by well-designed objects, buildings, and spaces.

Art Nouveau

Symbolist artists embraced the spiritual significance of art while rejecting science and objectivity.

The Nabis and Symbolism

Edvard Munch, The Storm - detail
The anxiety felt by the women waiting for husbands sailing on a stormy sea is almost tangible in Munch’s picture.

Edvard Munch, The Storm

Franz von Stuck, The Sin - detail
Entranced by the evil of the human psyche, we come face to face with art history’s creepiest snake.

Franz von Stuck, The Sin

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss- detail
With gold that recalls a Byzantine art, Klimt created a modern icon in this cosmic and eternal painting.

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss

Gustav Klimt, Death and Life- detail
Death comes to everyone—peasant, priest, or prince. Here, Death menaces interconnected bodies… with a club.

Gustav Klimt, Death and Life

Edvard Munch, The Scream - detail
Munch sought to express internal emotions, providing a visual equivalent for a universal human experience.

Edvard Munch, The Scream