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Artists Gustave Moreau

Gustave Moreau

French Painter

Gustave Moreau Photo
Movement: Symbolism

Born: April 6, 1826 - Paris, France

Died: April 18, 1898 - Paris, France

"I believe neither in what I touch nor what I see. I only believe in what I do not see, and solely in what I feel."

Gustave Moreau Signature

Synopsis

Gustave Moreau's visionary paintings speak to an obsession with the otherworldly, the macabre, and the life of the imagination which resonates across the recent centuries, making him one of the most fascinating of 19th-century painters for modern audiences. Guided partly by his unusual religious faith - which has been called Neo-Platonist, stressing the imperfection and impermanence of the physical world -Moreau set about capturing the products of his imagination on canvas with photographic accuracy. He believed that by so doing, he was allowing divine vision to speak through his brush. Moreau's paintings, normally depicting moments from biblical or mythic narratives, are populated with ambiguous visual symbols - which he took to represent certain desires and emotions in abstract forms - with divine and mortal beings locked in conflict, and with strange visions of sex and suffering. His art predicts not only subsequent movements such as Symbolism (of which he was a forerunner) and Surrealism, but also the peculiar concerns of our own era, seen to have given free rein to the darkest and most submerged impulses of the human mind.

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