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PAINTERS OF THE SOUL - SYMBOLISM IN FRANCE
The exhibition will present 230 works of art from an important private collection in France. The exhibition is the most extensive overview of European symbolism ever put on in Finland. It comprises artworks from 47 European artists who have worked in France, including oil paintings, paper-based works and sculptures.
The symbolists were interested in the soul, imagination and dreams of people, and in their art, they examined the big questions in life. They were fascinated with the full spectrum of emotions from horror to divine bliss in front of the great unknown, mysticism and mythology and the mysteries of the recently discovered subconscious. They sought inspiration in music and literature, drawing ideas especially from authors.
The symbolists wanted to join the visible with the invisible, and emphasised the domination of mind over matter. Their desire was to convince the viewer that the visible world was just an outward symbol of the real, spiritual world. They addressed viewers in a personal, spiritual and sometimes even moral or religious way. The subject of symbolism was the collective human vulnerability of their own time – perhaps that is why their works are so thought provoking still today.
The exhibition Painters of the Soul – Symbolism in France was compiled from artworks in a private French collection and it has been shown in seven countries and eleven museums in 1999–2004. The current tour of this show includes a large number of artworks that were not included in the preceding exhibitions.
Exhibition categories: French, Symbolism
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