Arnold Böcklin

Arnold Böcklin, 1827 to 1901, was a Swiss symbolist painter. Influenced by Romanticism his painting is symbolist with mythological subjects often overlapping with the Pre-Raphaelites. His pictures portray mythological, fantastical figures along classical architecture constructions, often revealing an obsession with death, creating a strange, fantasy world. Böcklin is best known for his five versions of Isle of the Dead, painted 1880 to 1886, which partly evokes the English Cemetery, Florence, close to his studio and where his baby daughter Maria had been buried. An early version of the painting was commissioned by a Madame Berna, a widow who wanted a painting with a dream-like atmosphere. Clement Greenberg wrote in 1947 that Böcklin's work is one of the most consummate expressions of all that was now disliked about the latter half of the nineteenth century. Böcklin exercised an influence on Giorgio de Chirico and on Surrealist painters like Max Ernst and Salvador Dalí

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