Symbolism originated in France, and was part of a 19th-century movement in which art became infused with mysticism. French Symbolism was both a continuation of the Romantic tradition and a reaction to the realistic approach of impressionism. It served as a catalyst in the outgrowth of the darker sides of Romanticism and toward abstraction. The term Symbolism means the systematic use of symbols or pictorial conventions to express an allegorical meaning. Symbolism is an important element of most religious arts and reading symbols plays a main role in psychoanalysis. Thus, the Symbolist painters used these symbols from mythology and dream imagery for a visual language of the soul.