Otto M. Urban's In Morbid Colors, the massive catalogue of a 2006 Prague exhibition of late-nineteenth-century Czech and related art, arranged the paintings, sculptures, and graphic works according to four themes that create "a kind of imaginary story of Decadent creation communicated through works which express a relationship to themselves, to one another, to the non-material world, and to death. Each theme connects in a natural way with the others and — through the artists' stylised iden- tification with death — in a circle." (p. 17). The four categories:

"Sullen, Debauched, Morose (stylised portraiture and self-portraiture);" the alienated artist

The Demon Love (tragic amorous emotion, woman as the victim and as the originator of destruction)


Satanic Hallucinations (the dark world of demons of various heresies, nightmares of the wrought-up imagination)

Purgatory of Death (irreversible, voluntary and involuntary, dying, death as a point of departure).


Urban, Otto M. In Morbid Colors: Art and the Idea of Decadence in the Bohemian Lands, 1880-1914. Prague: Municipal House and Arbor Vitae Press, 2006.

Last modified 27 April 2008