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

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 Term

Art nouveau

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

Art Term


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

Art Term


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


Selected artworks in the collection