Saturday, April 9, 2011

Arnold Bocklin

Left: Attack by Pirates
Below: Mermaids at Play, 1886

Arnold Bocklin (Boecklin) (Swiss 1827-1901)  has been seen as a precursor of Surrealism. At times his work can be gloomy, morose and overblown, which is perhaps why he fell from favour during the Modernist period.

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."

The seascape, often populated with mermaids, was a genre that appears to have preoccupied him.
I find him an exceptionally imaginative and skilled artist, and can see his influence in a lot of contemporary magic realist or neo-surrealist art.
His son, Carlo Bocklin, was also a talented painter.

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