What is Dolorism (Painting) and What Does It Mean?

What is Dolorism (Painting) and What Does It Mean?

July 1, 2021 Off By Felso

Bitterness or Dolorism; It is the general name of the teachings that prefer pain and find it useful, productive, valuable and uplifting. According to this understanding, pain should be exalted intellectually, morally and aesthetically and should exist as a guide in the center of life. According to this teaching, all kinds of pain, especially the physical and severe pain caused by diseases, make people conscious by making them think about reality and the lives of others, and in this context, it restrains animal tendencies in humans and brings intelligence to the fore.


The expression and defense of dolorism as a philosophical doctrine had its first sprout in 1935. In France, the French philosopher Julien Teppe and his friends put forward the basic principles and claims of dolorism with the journal “Revue Doloriste”, which means “sad” and “sad”. In addition, the works named “A Defense of the Unusual: Manifesto of Bitterness (1935)” and “The Commandment of Pain (1936)” also contributed significantly to the development of dolorism. These works ensured the recognition and spread of dolorism.

The doctrine of bitterness or dolorism, developed by the French philosopher named Julien Teppe, is a philosophical movement that considers it necessary to move away from pleasure and to endure pain by turning to pain, to glorify pain in order to survive as a free and strong being. According to this understanding, the suffering person will move away from the animal impulses under his influence, reach a spiritual power, which will increase his creative power, especially in the field of art, and his critical view of life.

Dolorism also refers to the attainment of spiritual maturity and a true understanding of oneself, others, and the world; It is the approach that argues that the only power that will enable him to stand up spiritually and physically in the struggle of life is to endure pain and suffering.


The word “Dolor” means “pain” in Latin. In this context, dolorism, which we translate into Turkish as “Bitter”, is the opposite of hedonism, which rejects pain and glorifies pleasure. Where hedonists seek pleasure and comfort, the sufferers seek toil, struggle, war and discomfort. Bitterness or Dolorism is the opposite of hedonism. By placing the concept of “pain” in a deep place in the meaning of life and placing it at the center of both morality and virtue, it stands directly opposite the hedonism doctrine.

Dolorism is also defended and supported by many teachings that do not look at the world and life only with the light of reason, being the opposite of the hedonism movement, which argues that people can reach happiness only through pleasure and values ​​pleasure in a positive way. With this structure, dolorism can be discussed on an ethical basis as well as on a theological basis.

From this point of view, although it is seen that dolorism approaches the teaching of Stoicism, it is difficult to say that dolorism is a complete stoic understanding. The most important distinction here is the Stoics’ understanding of enduring pain and enduring pain, while dolorism’s approach to chasing and pursuing pain.

With this definition, dolorism can also be perceived as a kind of masochistic attitude; but this perception would also be wrong. It is possible to make the distinction here as follows: A masochist will swim in a river full of crocodiles just for pleasure; Whereas a painer wants to cross that crocodile-filled river in order to reach the grassy area on the opposite bank of the river.

Cynicism is one of the painful teachings in ancient Greek philosophy. All ascetic teachings also fall under this general name, which is used by some in a contemptuous sense. In summary, in relation to other philosophical movements, we can say that all ascetic teachings fall under the general name of bitterness or dolorism.

This movement, which believes that pain matures and develops people, sees pain as a tool or virtue, the possibility of human liberation or an important way of penetrating the reality behind the appearance, and therefore includes Cynics such as Antisthenes, Diogenes, and philosophers such as Epictetus, Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer.

The dolorist, or the painful person, chases the difficult and painful; because he is conscious and convinced that happiness – true, deep, long-lasting happiness – cannot be attained without passing through hardships and pains.
Just as there can be no good without evil, there is no unhindered victory.
The bitter man is the one who can run after difficulties without fear; because man cannot grow without difficulty, cannot reach maturity without suffering.
Dolorist yearns for the ordeal; because he is aware of the impossibility of development without suffering.
The bitter man does not resist the darkness; he loves the dark and because he knows that it is necessary to be exposed to the dark to learn what light is.

Considering these qualities, the world-famous basketball player and even Michal Jordan, who is seen as the best basketball player of all time in history, said: