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

Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) A Modern Visionary

A major artist of the late 19th century, Arnold Böcklin is little-known in France, where this exhibition is the first retrospective devoted to him. The Isle of the Dead, the stunning icon that made him famous, often reinterpreted, was no doubt his masterpiece. This crucial painting, of which he made five variations between 1880 and 1886, introduces the spectator to his visionary and melancholic universe.

Rediscovered in the 1920's by surrealist painters - Giorgio De Chirico and Max Ernst in particular - Böcklin was for them a strong inspiration in his fantastical and iconoclast vision of mythology. Naiads, nymphs and centaurs haunt his paintings as well as visions out of mediaeval tales. The exhibition is placed in the series of monographs the Musée d'Orsay has organised over the last few years to help rediscover such foreign artists as Whistler, Menzel or Burne-Jones. The renewed interest in Böcklin coincides with the centenary of his death, inviting a reassessment of his work and of his place in the history of modern art.


Katharina Schmidt, director Kunstmuseum, Bâle, Christian Lenz, chief curator Neue Pinakothek, Munich and Marie-Pierre Salé, curator, Musée d'Orsay

Exhibition organised by the Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel Kunstmuseum, the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, the Musée d'Orsay, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Neue Pinakothek, Munich


48/14, La revue du musée d'Orsay, issue # 13, Autumn 2001
Musée d'Orsay / Réunion des musées nationaux
€ 11

23 October 2001 - 13 January 2002
Musée d'Orsay

Temporary exhibition galleries