Question by jay78_er: What does symbolism mean in a art painting?
Answer by Shell B
The term Symbolism means the systematic use of symbols or pictorial conventions to express an allegorical meaning. Symbolism is an important element of most religious arts and reading symbols plays a main role in psychoanalysis. Thus, the Symbolist painters used these symbols from mythology and dream imagery for a visual language of the soul.
Not so much a style of art, Symbolism was more an international ideological trend. Symbolists believed that art should apprehend more absolute truths which could only be accessed indirectly. Thus, they painted scenes from nature, human activities, and all other real world phenomena in a highly metaphorical and suggestive manner.
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Edwin Hall - The Arnolfini Betrothal. Medieval Marriage and the Enigma of Van Eyck's Double Portrait (Book Cover)
Image by Cea.