29/10/12 Aggiornato il:

Arnold Böcklin ~ Symbolist painter



Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901, Swiss painter, was born in Basel, Switzerland to a respectable family, and therefore he was sent to receive his education at the Dusseldorf Academy in Germany. His teacher, who was landscape artist Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, recognized the potential of the budding talent in Böcklin and recommended that he continue schooling in the arts in Belgium, in the flourishing cities of Brussels and Antwerp. It was there that he studied and developed his abilities, by copying the artwork of many of the masters, both Flemish and Dutch. Moving on to greater opportunities he went to work in the Louvre in Paris, and he continued to produce exceptional landscapes for his age.
It was the year 1850, and at 22 years of age, Böcklin decided to travel to Rome so that he could experience the artistic essence of the ancient city; there he remained for six years, returning to Munich with his new Italian wife and the effects of Rome’s pagan heritage influencing his paintings and compositions. His work became seeped in mythology; he created stories on canvas with his characters of satyrs, nymphs, centaurs and Roman pagan deities. Böcklin became, in art terms, a symbolist; an artist who used the gothic elements of Romanticism in his paintings.

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter | Medusa
Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter
While in Munich, with the recommendation of contemporary, Franz von Lenbach, and the notoriety of his much talked about paintings, Böcklin gained a position as a professor, which he held for two years, at the Weimar Academy. His four-year stay in Munich ended in 1862 as he traveled back to Rome, and stayed there also for a period of four years, ending in 1866. Rome seemed to have brought out another element in his style and a certain violence of color play, these changes are prominently expressed in his Portrait of Mme Böcklin and his An Anchorite in the Wilderness, both completed in 1863. Throughout his lifetime he would come back again and again to religious subjects, as found in the cathedral frescoes in Basel and the portraits like that of The Magdalene with Christ 1868.
Böcklin moved multiple times, whether to gain employment opportunities in the higher circles or just because of his love of travel, it’s not known, but his art flourished no matter where he roamed. In 1866 he returned to his birthplace of Basel, then moved on to Munich once again in 1873, and then Florence, Italy from 1876-1885. His travels continued, taking him to live in Zurich from 1886-1892 and at the age of 65 he settled, finally, in San Domenico, a small town near Florence.

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter | Self Portrait with Death

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter | The Isle of the Dead

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter | The Isle of the Dead, 1883

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter

Arnold Böcklin 1827-1901 | Swiss Symbolist painter