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Symbolism and Modern Urban Society


  • 110 b/w illus. 8 colour illus.
  • Page extent: 384 pages
  • Size: 246 x 189 mm
  • Weight: 1.009 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 709/.03/47
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: N6465.S9 H57 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Symbolism (Art movement)
    • Art, European--19th century--Social aspects
    • Cities and towns in art
    • Europe--Social life and customs--19th century

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521810968 | ISBN-10: 0521810965)

  • Published December 2004

Unavailable - out of print

US $90.00
Singapore price US $96.30 (inclusive of GST)

Symbolism and Modern Urban Society is the first social history of the Symbolist movement. Sharon Hirsh adopts a variety of methods, including gender theory, biography, visual analysis, and medical and literary history, in order to investigate this esoteric movement and ground it firmly in fin-de-siècle issues of modernity and the metropolis. Hirsh argues that Symbolism, often associated with notions of individualism, nostalgia, and visual reverie, offers an engaging critique of urbanity. Providing new definitions and theories for Symbolism and Decadence, she also addresses issues such as spatial/street confrontations with the crowd, the diseased city, the New Woman as 'should-be-mother', as well as the ideal city of Bruges and its social upheaval in the 1890s. Focusing on works by artists such as Van Gogh, Munch and Ensor, Hirsh also considers the works of artists who contributed in important ways to the Symbolist movement and the cities in which they worked.

• First social history of Symbolism • Focus on major artists, (Van Gogh, Munch, Toorop, Khnopff, Mellery, Ensor ) and city centers (Amsterdam, Oslo, Geneva, Brussels, Ostend, Bruges) • Clarifies the storing social and theoretical sources to Modernism that existed in Symbolism


1. Introduction; 2. Symbolist society; 3. The de-structured city; 4. The sick city; 5. The city woman, or the should-be mother; 6. City interiors and interiority; 7. The ideal city, the dead city.

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