ARNOLD BÖCKLIN

Villa by the Sea

1871/74

Oil on canvas
Inv. No. 1260

108 × 154 cm

zur  Biographie

For decades, the Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin 60 x 85 cm devoted his efforts to villas by the sea, which he always set in visionary, Arcadian southern landscapes. It was not his intention to depict the world as it appears but to create a living fantasy world, couched in an emotional and dramatic symbolic language. This brilliantly colourful depiction of a female figure immersed in her own thoughts is staged as if in a theatre. With Weltschmerz images like these, the painter gave his audience exactly what it was looking for. The goal of looking at paintings was to achieve a silence so absolute that – in Böcklin’s words – one “is startled when a knock comes at the door”.

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