The Artist's Dream: Works of French Symbolism

When and Where

Saturday, February 01, 2020 12:00 pm to Sunday, May 31, 2020 5:00 pm
Art Gallery of Hamilton
123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON L8P 4S8


In their quest to visually express subjective ideas, Symbolist artists drew inspiration from dreaming in the development of their imagery and style. This exhibition explores dreaming as a metaphor for artistic vision in the Symbolist movement in France. It brings together impressive works of French Symbolism from the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Collection at the Art Gallery of Hamilton alongside loans from collections throughout Canada and the United States.

The Artist’s Dream features works by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Jean-Jacques Henner, Auguste Rodin, Eugène Carrière, Sarah Bernhardt, Jeanne Jacquemin, Camille Claudel, and other artists associated with the Symbolist movement in France.

In addition to exploring the significance of dreaming in Symbolist art, the exhibition examines the personal and professional associations between artists associated with the movement. The representation of women, as well as the influence of music and theatre on Symbolism in the visual arts, are also explored. Special attention has been paid to showcasing the important contributions of women artists to the movement.

The selected works span fin-de-siècle painting, sculpture, and graphic arts to provide a picture of the movement across artistic media.

Guest curated by Amy C. Wallace.

Contact Information


123 King Street West, Hamilton, ON L8P 4S8