Spanish-language literary movement of the late 19th–early 20th century, founded by Rubén Darío. Reacting against the sentimental romantic writers then popular in Latin America, modernistas wrote on exotic themes and often about artificial worlds—the ancient past, the distant Orient, and the lands of childhood fancy and sheer creation. With “art for art's sake” as their creed, they brought about the greatest revitalization of language and poetic technique in Spanish since the 17th century. Its adherents included Peru's José Santos Chocano (1875–1934) and Cuba's José Martí. Though the movement was over by 1920, its influence continued well into the 20th century.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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