Edinburgh Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910 Schedule


Thursday 4th October 2012

  1. Registration 1:30pm to 1:55pm

  2. Welcome by Michael Clarke (National Galleries of Scotland) 1:55pm to 2pm

  3. The City as De-structured Symbolist Landscape, Sharon Hirsh (Rosemont College, Pennsylvania) 2pm to 2:45pm

  4. God in the Numbers: Nordic Landscape and Symbolist Realities, David Jackson (University of Leeds) 2:45pm to 3:30pm

  5. Coffee Break 3:30pm to 4pm

  6. Keynote Lecture: ‘La Vie Végétative’: Phytomorphism in Symbolist Landscapes, Dario Gamboni (University of Geneva) 4pm to 5pm

  7. Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910 exhibition 5pm to 6pm

    An opportunity to view Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910 exhibition

  8. Drinks reception in IT Gallery, Scottish National Gallery 6pm to 7pm

Friday 5th October 2012

  1. Little Sublimities, Hidden Technologies, and National Narration, Patricia Berman (Wellesley College, Massachusetts) 9am to 9:45am

  2. Gauguin, Hodler, Leistikow: The Mood of Landscape, Kerstin Thomas (University of Mainz) 9:45am to 10:30am

  3. Coffee Break 10:30am to 11am

  4. At the Edge of the Abyss: Symbolism, Nietzscheism and Vertiginous Landscapes Charlotte Foucher (Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Pa 11am to 11:45am

  5. Immanence and Transcendence: The Iconography of the Mystical Landscape, Katharine Lochnan (Art Gallery of Ontario) 11am to 11am

  6. Immanence and Transcendence: The Iconography of the Mystical Landscape, Katharine Lochnan (Art Gallery of Ontario) 11:45am to 12:30pm

  7. Lunch break (not provided) 12:30pm to 2pm

  8. From Whistler to Khnopff: Painting Softly or the Strange Musicality of Symbolist Landscape Michel Draguet (Royal Fine Arts Museu 2pm to 2:45pm

  9. Colour Tones and Tonalities: Symbolist Art and Music around 1900 Edwin Becker (Van Gogh Museum 2:45pm to 3:30pm

  10. Coffee Break 3:30pm to 4pm

  11. Round table discussion with Dario Gamboni, Elizabeth Childs Peter Dayan, Anna-Maria Von Bonsdorff and Richard Thomson 4pm to 5pm

October 4/5 2012: 2 Day Conference on Symbolist Landscape, Edinburgh

We are pleased to announce the full line up for the Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910 conference. The 2-day international conference will take place on 4 and 5 October 2012 at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. Eight 30-minute papers and a plenary lecture will be given and will include a visit to the exhibition Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880-1910 (14th July − 14th October 2012).

The distinguished group of speakers include Sharon Hirsh (Rosemont College), Patricia Berman (Wellesley College), Michel Draguet (Royal Fine Arts Museums of Belgium) and Dario Gamboni (University of Geneva).

Redefining European Symbolism, 1880-1910 is a network funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The partners are the University of Edinburgh, the National Galleries of Scotland, the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, the Musée d’Orsay  and the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris and the University of Geneva. It has staged two research seminars (on the Nabis, VGM, November 2010 and Symbolist landscape, INHA, March 2011) and two conferences: on the Nabis, Amsterdam, VGM, October 2011 and on European Symbolism, Musée d’Orsay, April 2012.

We hope you will also have a look at the Symbolism Database https://symbolism.ace.ed.ac.uk This is an online community of symbolist researchers, a space for open discussion and networking. Registering with the database is the best way to keep up to date with the network’s activities.

Edinburgh Landscape Conference Schedule

Booking Information

Tickets* cost £25 (£15 concessions); £10 student ticket and are available from the Information Desk at the Scottish National Gallery or call 0131 624 6560 between 9.30am-4.30pm with debit/credit card details. This number has a voicemail system so please your details if there is no answer. Alternatively please email: IDesk@nationalgalleries.org

*Includes exhibition ticket and wine reception

For enquiries, please contact Craig.Landt@ed.ac.uk (0131 651 4248)



For entrance to the National Galleries: http://www.nationalgalleries.org/visit/gardens-entrance/

Exhibition Website

Twitter users please follow us @RESymbolism

Paris Conference 13/14 April 2012

Paris 2012 Dépliant

The Redefining European Symbolism conference at the Musée d’Orsay,

13-14 April 2012


The 2-day international conference on Redefining European Symbolism took place on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 April 2012. Staged in the auditorium of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, the event was hailed a success after 14 papers were given over 48 hours to an audience of over 200, with leading academics and curators in attendance from all over Europe and North America. The event provided an excellent platform for researchers to meet and mix.

The conference was split into four sessions incorporating many facets of Symbolist research, culminating in a final afternoon dedicated to the question of Redefining European Symbolism. The first session, entitled Correspondances: littérature, théâtre, musique, was followed by Arts et identités: individualisme et nationalisme. On the second day the opening session took the themes of Contradictions: science et spiritualité, with the afternoon given to the major issue Redefining European Symbolism. The papers accentuated the wide range of Symbolism. There were papers on key figures in the wider culture, among them Wagner and Mallarmé, Huysmans and Rodenbach, as well as on artists: Rodin, Gallé and Filiger, plus the painters of Young Poland. One aim was to try to place the fluid nature of Symbolism in the broadest context of the period 1880-1910, so papers covered a panorama of topics, including theatre and the urban landscape, nationalism and colonialism, and spirituality and psycho-physiology.  A round table of specialists (Guy Cogeval, Debora Silverman, Rodolphe Rapetti, Michael Zimmermann, Edwin Becker and Richard Thomson) gathered for the final hour to discuss the value of such a broad view of Symbolism, stressing that it was not a reactionary current but one that had an important input into later 20th century culture. It was felt that there were many ‘symbolisms’, narrow definitions should be avoided,  and that a wide, inclusive and dynamic view of this fascinating period of European culture was preferable to the rather restrictive accounts which had perhaps tended to prevail.

The full audio recording will be available online shortly.

The network would like warmly to thank the Leverhulme Trust for providing the funding for this international network, the Musée d’Orsay and its Président Guy Cogeval for its hospitality and cooperation, all 14 speakers, 4 presidents, the round table and the public for attending.

Please find attached some feedback forms for those who attended the conference. Your comments would be most welcome.


Richard Thomson (Director).

Craig Landt (Administrator).

New association + call for papers: The Birch and the Star. Finnish Perspectives on the long 19th-century

New association named The Birch and the Star. Finnish Perspectives on the long 19th-century, chaired by Maija Tanninen, director of the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki and Riikka Stewen, from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, with a scientific committee composed of historians of art, music and literature working at the University of Helsinki  and in several Finnish museums and archives. We have decided to develop our international activity after the success of our first symposium, held in Helsinki, “Between Light and Darkness, International Symposium on Fin-de-siècle Symbolism”.

Symposium:The North, a Literary, Musical and Artistic Myth
This colloquium will take place  on 30-31 March 2012 More information can be found here

27-28 October 2011: 2 Day Nabis International Conference, Amsterdam

The first of the Redefining European Symbolism public conferences took place on the 27 and 28 October 2011 at the ABN Amro Bank Headquarters in Amsterdam, in cooperation with the Van Gogh Museum. 8 speakers gave papers on various topics revovlving around the Nabis and this was topped off with a visit to the Snapshot:Painters and Photography, 1888-1915 exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum. We would like to thank all those that attended and the speakers for their fantastic contribtion to the project. The conference report is now available to download NAbis 2011 report

Please find the conference programme here Nabis programme