Art Term

Fin de Siècle

Fin de Siècle is a French phrase meaning 'end of century' and is applied specifically as a historical term to the end of the nineteenth century and even more specifically to decade of 1890s

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ‘The Two Friends’ 1894
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
The Two Friends 1894
Tate

Fin de Siècle is an umbrella term embracing symbolism, decadence and all related phenomena (e.g. art nouveau) which reached a peak in 1890s. Although almost synonymous with other terms such as the Eighteen-Nineties, the Mauve Decade, the Yellow Decade and the Naughty Nineties, the fin de siècle however expresses an apocalyptic sense of the end of a phase of civilisation. The real end of this era came not in 1900 but with First World War 1914.

Related terms and concepts

  • Art nouveau

    Art nouveau is an international style in architecture and design that emerged in the 1890s and is characterised by sinuous ...

  • Decadence

    Decadence generally refers to an extreme manifestation of symbolism which appeared towards the end of the nineteenth century and emphasised ...

  • Symbolism

    Late nineteenth-century movement that advocated the expression of an idea over the realistic description of the natural world

SELECTED ARTISTS IN THE COLLECTION

Selected artworks in the collection