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Symbolic art


[The form of symbolic art is] more a simple search for portrayal than a possibility of true representation; the idea has still not found the form in itself, it only inspires it, strives toward it […].
In the incongruence of one with the other, the relationship of idea with objectivity therefore becomes a negative rapport, since the idea as internal is itself unsatisfied by this exteriority and however much universal inner substance; it is raised, sublimely beyond all this wealth of forms not correspondent with it. So in this sublimity the natural phenomenon and the form and human event are, yes, taken and left as they are, but at the same time are known as inadequate with respect to their meaning, which is raised beyond every worldly content.

These sides in general terms constitute the character of the first artistic pantheism of the Orient, which on the one hand places the absolute meaning even within the worst objects, and on the other hand violently constrains the phenomena to express their conception of the world, and thus, either it becomes bizarre, grotesque and tasteless, or else contemptuously directs the infinite but abstract freedom of the substance against all the phenomena however much valueless and short-lived. Therefore the meaning cannot be completely impressed in the expression and, even with every effort and attempt, the incongruity of idea and form remains forever unsurpassed. This would be the first form of art, the symbolic one, with its searching, its ferments, its enigma and sublimity.
[GEORG WILHELM FRIEDRICH HEGEL (1770-1831), Esthetics, pp. 89-92]

MOTHER OF GOD WITH APOSTLES
MOTHER OF GOD WITH APOSTLES
“MOTHER OF GOD WITH APOSTLES”
XVIII century, egg tempera and gold-leaf, 35cm x 42 cm 42
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CHRIST PANTOCRATOR
CHRIST PANTOCRATOR
“CHRIST PANTOCRATOR”
XVIII century, tempera on wood and gold-leaf, 15cm x 23cm
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SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF CHRIST
SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF CHRIST
“SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF CHRIST”
XVIII century, tempera on wood, 42cm x 55cm
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THE THREE APOSTLES
THE THREE APOSTLES
“THE THREE APOSTLES”
XVIII secolo, tempera d'uovo su tavola, cm. 33 x 43
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