- About Ateneum
Among novelists and poets, the Symbolists were attracted not only to the works of Charles Baudelaire but also to the dark tales of Edgar Allan Poe. Both wrote imaginative stories and accounts of death. The mystery of life and death was certainly a popular theme among the Symbolists. It was also connected with the decadent lifestyle in the late 1800s, particularly in Paris. Through fantasy, artists tried also to depict broader phenomena and dimensions beyond everyday life, such as mythical visions and forsaken Paradise, the mindscapes and beauty of the subconscious, fear and other emotions.
The paintings of Hugo Simberg create their own special world in which profound questions about life are intertwined with a gentle sense of humour and a deep sense of empathy. His paintings also often portray different states of mind and emotions.