Religious Iconography from 1860 to 1914: History of Theology and the European Avant-Garde

Publication Year



Art, icon, history, theology, Europe, Avant-Garde


Art and Design | Christianity | European History | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | History of Religion | Religion


Religious Iconography From 1860 to 1914: History of Theology and the European Avant-Garde, is the title of my senior honors thesis for completion of the Art History major. The paper was a particular study of the work of Manet, Gauguin, van Gogh, and Kandinsky, viewing the development of their efforts to evoke divine energy in the material world as being informed by the cultural and religious terrain.

The need to revitalize or reimagine divine reality in a secular system that could no longer respond to the themes of traditional Christian iconography was intensely felt by the artists in this study. Understanding the history of religious thought to uncover the reasons for these artists' reconsideration of religious, specifically Christian themes, is a valuable platform from which to understand the production of avant-garde painting from the mid-1800's to 1914. This platform allows one to view the art produced in this time period as developing through historical theological concerns and united in the struggle to represent divine understanding. It is the development that (in this limited study) specifically ties the art of Manet with that of Gauguin, van Gogh, and Kandinsky.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


Department 2 Awarding Honors Status


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