Dreamers of Decadence  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Dreamers of Decadence (French Esthétes et Magiciens) is an art history book by Philippe Jullian about fin de siècle Symbolist and Decadent art in Europe. It was translated from the French by Robert Baldick in 1971 and published as Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s. It does for the visual arts what Mario Praz's Romantic Agony (1930) did for literature. Not surprisingly, the book is dedicated to Mario Praz.

From the back cover

There have been few movements in the history of Western art as strange as that of the Decadents of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. While public attention (like that of most later critics) was preoccupied with the Impressionists, many painters were reacting in a totally different -- and more imaginative way -- to the grim horrors of the new industrial society around them. ... Jullian takes the reader on a conducted tour through the bizarre symbolism of this half-forgotten world, introducing them to a large number of writers and artists.


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