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Arnold Böcklin

Artist (Switzerland)
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About

Arnold Böcklin (16 October 1827 – 16 January 1901) was a Swiss symbolist painter. Arnold studied at the Düsseldorf academy under Schirmer and became a friend of Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach. He is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. Schirmer, who recognized in him a student of exceptional promise, sent him to Antwerp and Brussels, where he copied the works of Flemish and Dutch masters. Böcklin then went to Paris, worked at the Louvre, and painted several landscapes.

After serving his time in the army, Böcklin set out for Rome in March 1850. The many sights of Rome were a fresh stimulus to his mind. These new influences brought allegorical and mythological figures into his compositions. In 1856 he returned to Munich, and remained there for four years. He then exhibited the Great Park, one of his earliest works, in which he treated ancient mythology. These works, which were much discussed, together with Lenbach's recommendation, gained him appointment as professor at the Weimar academy.

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.

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."

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