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Need to revive the art of symbolist painting
With the advent of printing technology and photographic art, symbolism in religious art has suffered as a serious setback. I bumped into a religious symbolist painting in a school at Ladwa town of Haryana in January this year as a rare sight and was surprised to find an art teacher practicing it.

The painting was done a few years ago. I took the photograph of the painting (refer to the image in the story) since I saw the strength of such art work for enhancing the visual intelligence of students.

Symbolism in religious art includes the main elements of art to evoke ideas and meaning in religious symbols. Besides using light that symbolizes knowledge, enlightenment, holiness and purity, colours and shapes are used prominently to depict the divine and other-worldly qualities.

Symbolism stands for a form, image or subject representing a meaning other than the one with which it is usually associated through a basic visual language. Symbolism in art is a visual compendium of symbolist motifs that depict divine values and transfiguration away and beyond the mundane world.

In the west, symbolism art is related to the Gothic component of romanticism with the motive to take a contemplative refuge from the world of strife and earthly will. Therefore, most symbolists often had used characteristic themes of mysticism and other worldliness in their paintings.

In schools, these days, the emphasis is on commercial art and poster making rather than the art forms that make the imagination of students soar. However, there is a need for reviving the art of symbolist painting to develop the expressionism and surrealism in school level artwork. Such an effort will also establish cultural linkage of art curriculum in schools.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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