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The Parnassian were a group of 19th-century French poets, so called from their journal, the Parnasse contemporain, itself named after Mount Parnassus, home of the Muses in Greek mythology. Issued from 1866 to 1876, it included poems of Leconte de Lisle, Banville, Sully-Prudhomme, Paul Verlaine, Coppée and J. M. de Heredia.

The Parnassians were influenced by Théophile Gautier and his doctrine of art for art's sake. In reaction to the looser forms of romantic poetry, they strove for exact and faultless workmanship, selecting exotic and classical subjects which they treated with rigidity of form and emotional detachment.

Parnassianism did not restrict itself to France, tough. Perhaps the most idyosincratic of Parnassians, Olavo Bilac was an author from Brazil that managed to carefully craft verses and metre while still keeping a strong feel of emotion to them.

See also