Πέμπτη, 23 Αυγούστου 2012

Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901)

selfportrait (1872)
Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901) was a Swiss symbolist painter. Influenced by Romanticism his painting is symbolist with mythological subjects often overlapping with the Pre-Raphaelites. His pictures portray mythological, fantastical figures along classical architecture constructions (often revealing an obsession with death) creating a strange, fantasy world. Böcklin is best known for his five versions of Isle of the Dead, which partly evokes the English Cemetery, Florence, close to his studio and where his baby daughter Maria had been buried. An early version of the painting was commissioned by a Madame Berna, a widow who wanted a painting with a dream-like atmosphere. Clement Greenberg wrote in 1947 that Böcklin's work "is one of the most consummate expressions of all that was now disliked about the latter half of the nineteenth century." Böcklin's paintings, especially Isle of the Dead, inspired several late-Romantic composers.

War (date unknown)

War, 1896

Island of the Dead (1883)
Island of the Dead (1886)
Isle of the Dead is his best known painting. Prints of the work were very popular in central Europe in the early 20th century — Vladimir Nabokov observed that they were to be "found in every Berlin home." Freud, Lenin, and Clemenceau all had prints of it in their offices. Böcklin produced several different versions of the mysterious painting between 1880 and 1886. Böcklin himself provided no public explanation as to the meaning of the painting, though he did describe it as “a dream picture: it must produce such a stillness that one would be awed by a knock on the door.” Many observers have interpreted the oarsman as representing the boatman Charon who conducted souls to the underworld in Greek mythology. The water would then be either the River Styx or the River Acheron and his white-clad passenger a recently deceased soul transiting to the afterlife.
 One version was used as a cover for 2010 Atlantean Codex album "The Golden Bough"

Medusa (1878)

Shield with 
the Head of Medusa
, 1897

Plague (1898)

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