Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918)
Ferdinand Hodler was considered during his lifetime as a leading artist in the Modernist movement. Born in Berne in 1853, he lived in Geneva until his death in 1918, but this was a European career marked by both success and scandal. He was a member of the great Secessions and saw his work acclaimed in Vienna, Berlin and Munich. His triumph in Paris came in 1891 when his seminal painting Night (Berne, Kunstmuseum), was banned by the city of Geneva for reasons of obscenity. But at the same time, he was receiving major public commissions from Zürich, Geneva, Iena and Frankfurt. These produced many opportunities for the artist to indulge his taste for simplified, monumental or decorative paintings. Holdler is also an uncompromising portrait painter and unequalled landscape painter.