Arnold Böcklin (1827 - 1901)

Arnold Böcklin was born on October 19, 1827 in Basel, Switzerland and died on January 16, 1901 in S. Domenico in Fiesole. After completing his studies between 1845 and 1847 under the tutelage of Johann Wilhelm Schirmer in Dusseldorf, Böcklin travelled to Rome in 1850 where he made the acquaintance of Oswald Achenbach and Anselm Feuerbach. In 1855 he returned to Basel as a portrait and landscape painter. In Munich during 1856-57, the painter caught the attention of King Ludwig I as well as that of Adolf Friedrich Graf von Schack, who purchased 14 of his paintings. He was appointed Professor of Landscape at the Weimar School of Arts in 1860, a position he held for two years before travelling again to Rome, and then back to Basel in 1866. After these stays in Weimar, Rome and Basel, Böcklin returned again to Munich in 1871. In 1874 he relocated to Florence where he became associated with a group of artists linked with Adolf von Hildebrand and Hans von Marées, and then in 1876 he settled in Munich. From 1885 to 1892 he lived near Zurich.

Böcklin's work was quite popular during his time, and he was able to support a large family and lifelong career; a contract with the Berlin art dealer Fritz Gurlitt in 1880 helped to secured this existence. Originally devoting himself to landscape painting, as early as 1860 mythological references and symbolism began to permeate Böcklin's work, and gave us the pieces with which we are most familiar today.


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