Late Symbolism in Dutch book art

christus_mysterie_design_la_ruche
Het Christus-mysterie (The Christ Mystery), cover design: La Ruche (1917)

Symbolism had a major impact on Dutch book art. Although the high point of symbolist painting was between 1890 and 1910, Dutch book designers used the same imagery until in the 30s. Their work was highly influenced by the art of Dutch symbolist painters like Jan Toorop and Willem van Konijnenburg. Both worked in a geometric style with stylized figures. Especially Toorop designed many bookbindings himself.

Next generation
The symbolist style was adopted by the next generation of designers, such as Pieter Hofman, Maarten Meuldijk and Wim Wijnman. They combined Symbolism and Art Deco into a new style. The symbolist imagery was used to illustrate novels and all kinds of religious and esoteric publications. Just like in early Symbolism the woman is often depicted as a symbol for higher values. The Christ figure was also a popular motif in late symbolist book design.

See below an overview of the most beautiful late symbolist book bindings…

pandorra_design_jan_toorop
Pandorra, cover design: Jan Toorop (1919)
muziekgeschiedenis_design_willem_van_konijnenburg
Muziekgeschiedenis (Music History) , cover design: Willem van Konijnenburg (1932)
sint_elmsvuur_design_pieter_hofman
Sint-Elmsvuur (St. Elmo’s Fire), cover design: Pieter Hofman (1919)
malmstrom_design_wim_wijnman
Malmström, cover design: Wim Wijnman (1918)
over_kunst_en_kunstenaars_1_rn_roland_holst
Over kunst en kunstenaars 1 (About art and artists 1), cover design: Richard Roland Holst (1923). The pearl diver symbolizes the artist in his quest for beauty.
redelijke_religie_design_maarten_meuldijk
Redelijke religie (Reasonable religion), cover design: Maarten Meuldijk (1923)
over_kunst_en_kunstenaars_2_rn_roland_holst
Over kunst en kunstenaars 2 (About art and artists 2), cover design: Richard Roland Holst (1928).
hoogere_zielekrachten_design_andre_vlaanderen
De hoogere zielekrachten (The higher powers of the soul), cover design: André Vlaanderen (1919)
vrouw_en_moeder_design_frans_bosen
Vrouw en moeder (Woman and mother), cover design: Frans Bosen (1929)
wereld_vd_dans_design_jb_heukelom
De wereld van den dans (World of dance), cover design: Jan Bertus Heukelom (1922)
winterboek_chris_lebeau
Winterboek 1924-25 (Winter book 1924-25), cover design: Chris Lebeau (1924)
liefdedaden_design_jacq_jongert
Liefdedaden (Works of Love), cover design: Jac. Jongert (1919)
profeten_van_israel_design_pieter_hofman
De profeten van Israël (The prophets of Israel), cover design: Pieter Hofman (1927)
opvoedkundige_brochurereeks_toon_ninaber_van_eyben
Opvoedkundige brochurenreeks No. 28 – Deugdpedagogiek en Kultuurpedagogiek (Educational booklet series No. 28 -. Virtue Pedagogy and Culture Pedagogy), cover design: Toon Ninaber van Eyben (1925)
christelijke_kunst_design_jan_vd_leeuw
Christelijke kunst (Christian art), cover design: Jan van der Leeuw (1925)
werken_van_mystieken_jan_louwerse
Werken van mystieken (Works of mystics), cover design: Jan Louwerse (1932)
verlaine_design_pieter_hofman
Verlaine – Het leven van een dichter (Verlaine – The life of a poet), cover design: Pieter Hofman (1927)
ondergang_avondland_design_pieter_hofman
De ondergang van het Avondland (The Decline of the West), cover design: Pieter Hofman (1925)
late_lente_design_willy_broggel
Late lente (Late spring), cover design: Willy Broggel (1925)
over_literatuur2_book_design_pieter_hofman
Over literatuur (About literature), cover design: Pieter Hofman (1924)
samson_design_wim_wijnman
Samson, cover design: Wim Wijnman (1918)
socialisme_wereldbeschouwing_maarten_meuldijk
Socialisme en Wereldbeschouwing (Socialism and World View), cover design: Maarten Meuldijk (1924)
droomwereld_design_edzard_de_groot
Droomwereld (Dreamworld), cover design: Edzard de Groot (1930)
eduard_verkade_design_wim_heskes
Eduard Verkade, cover design: Wim Heskes (1922)
avondrood_design_jan_toorop
Avondrood (Afterglow), cover design: Jan Toorop (1913)
realistiese_religie_design_maarten_meuldijk
Religieus-socialistische vragen – Realistiese religie (Religious socialist questions – Realistic religion), cover design: Maarten Meuldijk (1925)
brieven_aan_elisa_art_deco_binding
Brieven aan Elisa (Letters to Elisa), cover design: unknown
vroomheid_design_maarten_meuldijk
Vroomheid (Devotion), cover design: Maarten Meuldijk (approx. 1925)

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