The Symbolist movement (circa 1885-1910) in painting was a reaction to the glorification of the everyday propagated by the Impressionists and the Realists. Courbet believed "Painting is an essentially concrete art and can consist only of the things both real and existing..." This outlook was countered by such painters as Gustave Moreau (1826-1898), with his dreamlike paintings drawing from myths, sagas and Medieval tales. He, along with such artists as Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898) and Odilon Redon (1840-1916) endeavoured "to give visual expression to the mystical and occult."
Symbolism's sinewy lines, sensuous women and atmospheric settings most certainly influenced the aesthetics and themes selected by the jewellers of the Art Nouveau. A parallel movement, it captivated the sphere of the decorative arts. In many ways a celebration of nature, Art Nouveau's jewels often represent floral subjects, as can be observed in the collection's hat pins, wisteria pendant necklace and floral belt buckle. Its women were most often depicted with flowing hair as can often be noted in paintings of the period, those of Ophelia in particular.