Fernand Khnopff was second to no one in the way his pictures, from the 1890s onward, captured the fin-de-siecle mood. Indeed, the unqualified success he met with at the 1s' Exhibition of the Secession was undoubtedly due to how precisely his picto- rial figurations coincided with the moods prevalent in pre-turn-of-the-century Vienna. This effect was in no way diminished by the fact that other artists of his generation, who were active in Vienna and had their works presented at exhibitions, were working along similar lines. There is no question that Khnopff was important at the time — his influence on many artists, e. g. on Klimt, is beyond dispute — yet we must not blind ourselves to the fact that artists both of his generation and older ones, such as Wilhelm Bernatzik, Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach and Friedrich Konig, arrived almost simultaneously and independently of Khnopff, perhaps without ever having seen or met him. at com- parable figurations. — Andrea Domesle


Artistic Relations

Resources on the Web


Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921). Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2004.

Intermezzo: Gustav Klimt und Wien un 1900/Gustav Klimt and Vienna around 1900. Salzburg: Museum der Moderne Rupertinum, 2004.

Jullian, Philippe. Dreamers of Decadence: Symbolist Painters of the 1890s. Trans. Robert Baldick. London: Pall Mall, 1971.

Jullian, Philippe. The Symbolists. Trans. Mary Ann Stevens. London: Phaidon, 1973.

Victorian Web Visual Arts painting Leading Questions

Last modified 14 November 2005