Turbulence of the Fin-de-siècle: Arts Through the Looking-Glass of Intermediality

Author: Mykyta Isagulov, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
Email: mi338@exeter.ac.uk
Published: August 16, 2023

Citation: Isagulov, M. (2023). Turbulence of the Fin-de-siècle: Arts Through the Looking-Glass of Intermediality. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijah.10.1.08


This paper addresses the fin-de-siècle period as a time when most of what are called intermedial processes, that is to say, those processes that arbitrate aesthetic design at the intersection between different media, began to play a substantial role in the production of cultural artifacts. The epoch is investigated through the prism of intermediality, which manifested itself as a valuable tool in the development of the arts and media, particularly after the birth of photography and cinematography. These intermedial processes fostered a media-based creative experimentation that culminated in the modernist and postmodernist movements. The role of intermediality in the fin-de-siècle, particularly in light of the syncretic processes it originated, is considered as an aftereffect of the tumultuous events of the time, which in a way acted as a stimulus for this new-fangled aesthetics. The paper concludes that the turbulence that characterizes this epoch, as well as the diffusion of new artistic and philosophical movements, impacted the development of mixed (intermedial) arts, stimulated their growth and activated the exploration of intermedial forms and genres in all the arts. This is the era of mass publishing and the growth of literacy rates, an era that laid the foundations for future theories on intertextuality and the idea of the work of art as an inclusive “canvas” inside of which all media have a place.


art studies, fin de siècle, intermediality, media studies