Ferdinand Hodler
Andey Peak, Arve Valle

Andey Peak, Arve Valle in Haute Savoie
Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918)
Andey Peak, Arve Valle in Haute Savoie
1909
Oil on canvas
H. 67.5; W. 90.5 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Gérard Blot

La pointe d'Andey, vallée de l'Arve (Haute Savoie) [Andey Peak, Arve Valle in Haute Savoie]


Painted in 1909 and exhibited 1912 in Munich under the title Landscape, this painting by the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler is now called Andey Peak, Arve Valle in Haute Savoie. The exact spot could be located by the very precise representation of the mountain peaks. However, although the line of the mountain crests is exact, the rest of the pictorial surface is treated as a highly constructive painting. It leaves no room for anecdote or any animal or human presence.

Three layers of clouds rise up towards the peak. They suggest rising altitude but they also introduced a play of forms. The two lower cloud levels are parallel to the horizontal ground, the upper layer follows the curves of the mountain. A gradation of blues establishes a palpable link between the pale base and the dark alpine summit. The valley is marked by a tender green and the sky by a pale sky blue. In its decorative approach, the painting is not unlike a Japanese print.

The painter Ferdinand Hodler is remembered for his huge Symbolist compositions which marked the revival of German, Austrian and Swiss mural art at the turn of the 19th century.




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