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DREAMERS AND ACADEMICS
An exhibition of fin-de-siecle "decadent" art.
From the Exhibition Catalogue's Introduction:
"Not very many years ago the remarkable pictures which have been assembled for this exhibition would have been consigned to the guest wings of country houses and the billiard rooms of gentleman's clubs.
Popular taste had pronounced upon such works the terrible sentence of banishment, so that within recent memory, it was possible for us to stand before the paintings of Burne-Jones, or Herbert Draper or the French Symbolists, or the mythological extravaganzas of fin de siecle Vienna and sanctimoniously wonder how such art could ever have enjoyed a contemporary fame.
Inured to the novelties of modernism we are faced with the shock of the old. Or rather, the shock of rediscovering artistic reputations which had been hitherto brushed aside; painters whose work perversely failed to fit a convenient thesis.
It is as it should be that Gustav Klimt and his school are now re-appraised as modern masters and that some of the Pre-Raphaelites' more voluptuous successors no longer inhabit the basements of provincial galleries.
The rehabilitation of so-called 'decadent art' is a healthy sign in contemporary taste. In a world where the bureaucrat and the machine dominate our culture is it so surprising that we should once more embrace those rare artists who prize above all things, the exquisite, the poetic, the speculative, even the libidinous and the merely beautiful?"
(Note from ArtMagick: This exhibition took place in 1981 though the exact months are not known at this time).
Where & When
Eugène Carrière, Evelyn Pickering De Morgan, Herbert Draper, Jean Léon Gérôme, Xavier Mellery, Armand Point, Alfred Stevens, Franz von Stuck
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