Term used to denote an ethos shared by many 19th and 20th century works of art often considered to dominate the culture of this era. Begins in 1860ís with the Impressionists and Symbolists. Ended in the 1960ís with Pop Art. Keeping a distance from familiar representations; essences of visual experience.

The French Path to Modernism

    Neoclassicism into Romanticism with a struggle

Jacques-Louis Davidís student Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) in turn teaches Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919).
Neo Classicism to Impressionism thus Modernism.


Pierre-Narcisse Guerin (1774-1833), a student of a rival of David, to the trigger of Romanticism, his students Gericault and Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863). Romantics to Courbet, leader of the 19th century Realism Revolution, to Barbizon, to Impressionists.

    Or a path through Symbolism and Naturalism from Romanticism

Romantic painting to Naturalists (Corot) to Cezanne to Modernism.


Romantic painting to the Visual Arts, feelings imposed on surroundings, to Symbolism: Gauguin to Nabis thus Modernism.

The Realist Movement has been seen as more important. Now Symbolism is being seen as parent of modern art and Modernism.