"indulged his taste for the Symbolists"
Symbolism was an artistic and poetic style which evolved in the late 19th Century, both as a progression from the darker aspects of Romanticism and a rejection of Realism. Broadly speaking, it was concerned with the idea that absolute truth could not be conveyed directly; it had to be implied through the use of familiar symbols which would provoke certain associations in the viewer or reader. This parallels the budding interest in psychoanalysis which was also gaining a foothold. Many of the well known Symbolist painters are French, namely Odilon Redon, Puvis de Chavannes, Paul Gauguin and Gustave Moreau. The style was also popular in Russia, as seen in the work of Mikhail Aleksandrovich Vrubel and Léon Bakst. The well known painters Gustav Kilmt (Austrian) and Edvard Munch (Norwegian) were also Symbolists. The style became a great influence on the later art movements of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.