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Symbolism – fantasy as a lens for reality

Emerging in the latter half of the nineteenth century as a response to gritty realism and naturalism, symbolism was a philosophy that covered a number of different countries and artistic disciplines. Whereas their precursors had elevated the everyday over the ideal, symbolist artists looked to return to fantasy as a way of dealing with real-life themes. Classical mythology and dream-like imagery were common motifs, used to depict dramatic scenes as metaphors for modern issues. The style of painting itself varies greatly, but whatever form it takes, symbolist art is always sure to fire the imagination.

Symbolism for your home

Our range of symbolism posters includes works by painters with a variety of different approaches. Dramatic scenes such as Arnold Böcklin’s “Isle of the Dead” and Vasentsov’s “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse” are the perfect pieces to dominate your living room, lending your home an element of fantasy. Or if you’d prefer a slightly lighter take on classical mythology, Sartorio’s “La Sirena” and Bussiere’s “Water Nymphs” are always sure to impress.

Something calmer and more relaxing for the dining room, perhaps? Free of the hard lines used by many of his contemporaries, Odilon Redon’s more abstract approach to symbolism allows his gentle colours to shine through. Our personal favourite is “La Rève ou la Pensée”, a beautiful piece that perfectly captures the feel of a half-remembered dream.

And speaking of dreams, we also have several soothing symbolism pictures that are perfect for the bedroom. Gustave Moreau’s “Dragonfly” is a sensual, ethereal homage to nature at its finest, while Ferdinand Hodler’s “The Beech Fores”t is the restful embodiment of serenity. Or perhaps you’d like something humorous for the hallway, to give you a smile when you get home after a hard day? Then Gabriel von Max is your man, with his entertaining scenes of monkeys designed to poke fun at his intellectual contemporaries.

Choose the right format for your symbolism

The works of symbolism available at Poster Lounge can be printed on any material you like – from high-quality photo paper to Dibond, our lightweight, weather-proof aluminium composite. However, for that genuine gallery look, we recommend using our fine-grain, 100% cotton canvas. This will really bring out the warmth of those vibrant colours, and can even be framed to give it an even more upmarket touch.