Symbolism was a late 19th century artistic and literary movement which began in France with Baudelaire and his novel Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil)
It was a reaction against Realism, that is, the former movement. In fact, it was in favour of spirituality, imagination and dreams because Symbolists thought that world should be described only indirectly using a metaphorical and suggestive language, world play…
They were also influenced by Edgar Allan Poe’s literary tropes and imaginery; and by Parnassianism’s clarify and objectivity. Later, Symbolist Poetry looked for hermeticism and freer versification.
Famous artists belonging to this movement were the Russian Dostoyevsky, the musician Wagner, the sculptor Rodin or the philosopher Shopenhauer among others.
Reading the following document, you can learn more about French Symbolism.