En bok från Gidlunds förlag

Birte Bruchmüller:  Spiritual transcendence and androgyny within Swedish and Finnish transnational Symbolism.  

Swedish and Finnish art from the turn of the twentieth century has to a dominating degree been regarded as a national romanticist enterprise, whereas internationally based artists, international currents and artistic productions, which did not take part in the national building project, remain widely unacknowledged within art history. These historiographical national biases served as the point of origin of this research project, which deals with relatively unexplored Swedish and Finnish Symbolist artists, who throughout the 1890s and onwards, were important and active parts of a European-wide Symbolist art movement with subject matters beyond the national.

It examines the Swedish artists Olof Sager-Nelson and Tyra Kleen, as well as the Finnish artists Magnus Enckell, Beda Stjernschantz and Ellen Thesleff, as examples of the great number of internationally based Swedish and Finnish artists during the 1890s which have either been excluded from art history writing or noted as mere exceptions if acknowledged at all.

During their different Parisian sojourns, these five artists came in contact with the Symbolist and occult Salons de la Rose+Croix between 1892 and 1897, and its transnational and androgynous art programme, which revolved around the exploration of the human being's immateriality and spirituality. Centred around the depiction of the spiritually enhanced human body, this Doctoral thesis explores the interrelations between the work of these five Swedish and Finnish artists and thematic, theoretical, aesthetic and stylistic elements of a transnational Symbolist visual language. Thereby, particular focus is laid on the notion of a powerful androgynous mental state and an androgynous fashioning.

In this way, this Doctoral thesis generates important knowledge on the role of Swedish and Finnish Symbolist art within the overall European art history, whilst contributing to the reconsideration and diversification of existing art history on Swedish and Finnish Symbolism.

Birte Bruchmüller is an art historian at the Department of Cultural Sciences at the University of Gothenburg and a curator at the art museum Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde. Spiritual transcendence and androgyny within Swedish and Finnish transnational Symbolism is her Doctoral thesis.

Danskt band 344 s.
Utgivningsår 2022
ISBN 978-91-7844-495-3