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This artistic and literary tendency develops about 1890 in reaction with impressionism, with a social realism criticizes and scientific positivism in full rise. The work of art must express an idea by using signs, symbols and the fabric must be
" synthetic ", which wants to say that any representation (character or object) acquires its significance only by its character symbolic system. Work must suggest. The characters must be like
" foreigners " with work. Only their transposition in signs iconographic and not their subjective character gives them their significance. The work of art has moreover especially a decorative function. Symbolism plunges its roots in the German romanticism and its taste of the marvellous one. In the center of the concerns symbolic systems is almost always the human being with its relationship enigmatic and magic with death and the erotism.