A while back, I shared a post on Dark Romanticism and Classical Art; I've discussed different elements of this artistic movement including the role of nature within obscure art forms that was expressed throughout dark and eerie landscapes, and also various representations of literary works like Dante's Devine Comedy or Milton's Paradise Lost. This time I'm going to share the second and last part of the initial post, hope you'll enjoy it :)

Dark Romanticism and Symbolism have "imagination" as a common ground; the symbolists felt the need to represent an idea in an artistic and sensitive manner and they usually got inspired by a number of myths and legends. Symbolism has gained popularity by the end of the 19th century where different artists used elements from both Dark Romanticism and Symbolism to create paintings that breathed a certain sense of melancholy paired with popular myths and legends. The most popular mythical creature is Medusa for example with painters like Gustav Klimt or Jean Delville.

In that period, the image of the Femme Fatale in art emerged. This character, in the eyes of the public, is both fascinating and terrifying. Some figures are Cleopatra, The Queen of Saba, or Salomé. This latter is described as young, extremely beautiful and ruthless seductress inspired various artists such as Gustav Klimt, Frantz Von Stuck, Gustave Moreau, and the author Oscar Wilde with his play Salomé which I recommend you give it a read to be acquainted with the story of the character.

The supernatural had a bigger impact on art during the period. People such as mediums, fortune tellers and individuals with spiritual powers were prominent in classical art and even photographs, sometimes being the faces of some adverts promoting numerous products. The ever growing popularity of mysticism helped artists frame different scenes showing people engaging in séances and communicating with spirits and ghosts. Photographs with ghosts or the undead express this fascination with the unknown and the other world.