Decadence describes an extravagant form of symbolism that emerged in the late nineteenth century, focussing on spiritual, morbid and erotic themes.

The term 'Decadence' gained popularity in the 1880s, as exemplified by the publication of the French journal Le Décadent in 1886. Decadents were motivated partly by a revulsion toward the corruption and pervasive materialism of the modern world, and partly by a corresponding desire to transcend it through exploration of the aesthetic, fantastical, erotic, or religious realms.

In the realm of art, Decadence left a notable impact on the works of artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and later Edward Coley Burne-Jones in Britain, as well as Aubrey Beardsley and Simeon Solomon. Other artists working within the decadent style included Khnopff, Moreau, and Rops. Key literary works associated with Decadence include Joris-Karl Huysmans' 'À Rebours' (Against Nature) and Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray.'

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.