L’Art Inconscient: Imaging the Unconscious in Symbolist Art for the Théâtre d’art

Serena Keshavjee


The institutionalization of psychology created a fascination with the unconscious mind in fin-de-siècle France, and Symbolist artists were keen to pictorialize this state. The plays and advertisements produced for Paul Fort’s Symbolist Théâtre d'art (1890–92) set out to dislodge the rational mind by challenging conventional visual perception. The style of the Nabis’s theatre programs, labelled "l’art inconscient" by Jules Bois, figured the transcendence of the self, and the penetration of the creative unconscious through different visual metaphors of dissolution.


Theatre and Art; Symbolist Art; Gauguin; Nabis; Paul Fort; Théâtre d'art

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