Symbolist Art: Love, Fear, Death and Desire

Ref: C3741178

Born in the 1880s out of the desire to reject the objective representation of the world, the Symbolist movement stood for art which reflected emotions and ideas through colour line and composition. Typical Symbolist themes of love, fear, death and desire will be explored in the works of Moreau and Puvis de Chavannes, Edward Munch and Jan Toorop, Gauguin and Klimt.

Course aim

To trace the origin and development of the Symbolist movement thorough close examination of selected art works

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • examine some of the works studied during the course in a critical manner
  • list two features of Symbolist painting
  • give two reasons for the development of Symbolism in either France or Austria

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • A short reading list will be provided at the start of the course

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course outline

Symbolist Art: Love, Fear, Death and Desire Course Outline

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This course is not available for online enrolment.


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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