Musée d'Orsay: Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) A Modern Visionary

Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) A Modern Visionary

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2001

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painting
Arnold BöcklinPan in the Reeds© DR / Munich, Neue Pinakothek
Böcklin spent a large part of his life in Italy, where he was strongly marked by Pompeian art – Portrait of Angela Böcklin as a Muse, 1863 (Basel, Kunstmuseum) – and by the Italian Renaissance he remembered in the sumptuous portraits and allegories of the 1870s in Munich – Self-Portrait, 1873 (Hamburg, Kunsthalle) and Anacréon's Muse, 1873 (Aarau, Aargauer Kunsthaus).

painting
Arnold BöcklinSelf-Portrait© DR / Hambourg, Kunsthalle
To him, the Mediterranean antiquity was a golden age for humanity living in harmony with nature. His mythological creatures – Pan in the Reeds, 1859 (Munich, Neue Pinakothek), Spring Evening, 1879 (Budapest, Szepmüveszeti Museum) – express the artist's nostalgia and his deep scepticism towards modern civilisation, with affinities with the international symbolism of the 1890s. Yet Böcklin's style, perfectly original, cannot be compared to that of any great symbolist.

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