“To suggest is to create; to describe is to destroy.” Robert Doisneau
“The mystery of love is more mysterious than the mystery of death.” Oscar Wilde
The photographer Robert Doisneau's and the poet and playwright Oscar Wilde's words adequately convey the attitude of the Symbolist painters of 1900. Between the Belle Epoque and World War I, groups of artists in several European countries took the suggestive themes of love, death, and mysterious mythology as their subjects for works of art. The Symbolism exhibition visited by 25 TASIS art history students at Palazzo Reale in Milan on Saturday featured 180 works of art, among which 150 paintings, many large-scale, and many by well know artists such as Hodler, Segantini, Redon, Moreau, and Böcklin. But there were also masterpieces by much less well known Italian painters such as Gaetano Previati, Giulio Aristide Sartorio, and Vittorio Emanuele Bressanin. One part of the exhibition was a recreation of the "Room of the Art of the Dream" from the 1907 Venice Biennale the 1907, which elevated Symbolism to the status of an important style in Italy.
We also visited Leonardo's Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie. Students preparing for the IB exam in art history on April 29th were able to see for themselves what Leonardo meant by "the motions of the soul."
- Mark Aeschliman, TASIS Faculty