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Title: The evolution of the alchemical androgyne in symbolist and surrealist art
Author: Grew, Rachael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 3637
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2010
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The relationship between Symbolism and Surrealism is well known yet scarcely documented in detail. This thesis aims to address this oversight by exploring the connections between these two movements, specifically through investigating their shared motif of the androgyne. The androgyne embodies the professed aim of each of these groups: the transcendence of the physical in favour of the ephemeral for the Symbolists, and the unification of opposites for the Surrealists. Equally, both movements have an interest in the occult, and the androgyne is a key image within the occult tradition symbolising spiritual unity, dovetailing with the Symbolists’ and the Surrealists’ goals. The androgyne will be analysed firstly within the context of alchemy, surveying the way in which it is portrayed in primary sources, and how this has changed in Symbolist and Surrealist art. It will also be analysed in the contexts of psychoanalysis and gender identity, observing how male and female artists portray the androgyne differently and why. The aim of this thesis is therefore two-fold: firstly, a comparative study of the iconography employed by these connected movements, to original alchemical sources, and also between the male and female artists of these movements. Secondly, it aims to create a more secure basis for the notion of alchemical influence on Symbolism and Surrealism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N Visual arts (General) For photography ; see TR ; NC Drawing Design Illustration ; ND Painting