Class Year




Document Type


Distinguished Thesis


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Miguel Alvar de Baca

Second Advisor

Rebecca Goldberg

Third Advisor

Dan LeMahieu

Fourth Advisor

Ann Roberts


The topic to be investigated will consider the contextual and psychological causes of the resurrection of the imagination in nineteenth century art. Primarily considering the paintings of English, French, and German artists, this essay will analyze how these artists, informed by the literature of fantasy and enchantment, used the imagination to construct the methodological and theoretical foundations of modernism. Specifically examining Symbolism as the culmination of the evolution of fantasy and the fairy tale, this essay will seek to map the expansion of artistic originality, skepticism with perception, and accentuated purity of visual language from early fantastic painters to fin-de-siècle artists. Capturing cultural truths, aspirations, and attitudes, the fantasy and the fairy tale, with their multiple incursions into psychology, poetry, and art, offer a unique gateway to studying the preliminary tenets of modernism.

Available for download on Saturday, January 01, 2022