Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901), was a symbolist Swis painter. His allegorical and fantastical paintings anticipated 20th-century Surrealism. He exercised an influence on Surrealist painters like Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, and Giorgio de Chirico.

He studied at Düsseldorf where he became a friend of Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach. Originally a landscape painter, his travels through Brussels, Zurich, Geneva and Rome, exposed him to Classical and Renaissance art, and the Mediterranean landscape. These new influences brought allegorical and mythological figures into his compositions.

Böcklin is best known for his five versions of "Isle of the Dead", 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.

His later works became increasingly dreamlike and nightmarish.


"Self-portrait" (1872) Oil on canvas, 75 x 61 cm - 29.5 x 24 in. Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.



"Island of the Death I" (1880) Oil on wood, 71 × 122 cm - 28 x 48 in. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.



"Island of the Death III" (1883)



"Island of the Death IV"



"Island of the Death V" (1886) Oil on wood, 80 × 150 cm - 31.5 x 59.1 in. Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Germany.



"The game of Naiades" (1886) Oil on canvas, 151 × 176 cm - 59.4 x 69.3 in. Kunstmuseum, Basel, Germany.



"Nessus und Deianeira" (1898) Pfalzgalerie, Kaiserslautern, Germany.



"The Homecoming" (1887) 78 x 100 cm - 30.7 x 39.4 in. Private collection.

Text source: 'Wikipedia' (

Related Artists:


Related Terms: Renaissance, Classicism, Symbolism, Surrealism.


share this page (aged 13 or over only)


About Colorland, Site Policy & Important Notices. Colorland Network©Gabriel Picart. All rights reserved.