Arnold Bocklin

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    Arnold Bocklin


    Arnold Bocklin was born in 1827 near Basel, Switzerland. His parents Christian Frederick Bocklin and Ursula Lippe, were from northern Switzerland, and his father was a silk trader. His father's occupation inspired Bocklin to travel. So he left Switzerland at an early age to study painting at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art from 1845 to 1847 under the guidance of the landscape painter Johann Wilhelm. Bocklin also studied painting with the romantic painter Carl Friedrich Lessing. At that time, he was introduced to the work of the Nazarene movement. The coexistence of different artists with different styles played a huge role in Bocklin's style.

    Early training

    1848 was a critical year for Arnold Bocklin's development as an artist. Schirmer sent him to Brussels, Antwerp, and Paris to continue his training. Romantic artists influenced Bocklin, like Eugene Delacroix and some great painters from the Barbizon school during his travel days. 

    He was also inspired by the Baroque painter Paul Rubens. Some of Bocklin's work depicted realism. According to Susanne Marchand, his landscape work was inspired by Schirmer and Lessing and Swiss landscape painter Alexandre Calame.

    Bocklin returned to Basel from France and served his mandatory time with the Swiss army. In 1850 he moved to Rome again. Arnold Bocklin's experience in Rome played a huge role in his evolution as an artist. Bocklin spent his days exploring the ancient city, Art, and culture. 

    After the death of his first finance, he got married to Angela Pascucci in 1853. Angela was a 17-year-old daughter of a Papal guard; she was his muse, inspiring many of Bocklin's nude masterpieces.

    It was a happy marriage, but Bocklin's parents were not happy with his decision. The couple could not settle in Rome until 1862. The death of five children from 14 children and Bocklin's poor health made the marriage emotionally fraught. From 1856 to 1860, Bocklin and Angela lived in Munich before returning to Basel. There Bocklin was appointed to a two-year professorship at the Weimar Academy, which his colleague Franz Von Lenbach recommended.

    Mature period.

    From the mid-1860s, Bocklin spent most of his time in Rome. He became more focused on ancient mythology. According to Bocklin's students, in 1863, Bocklin studied Raphael's Vatican murals and wall painting in Rome. The influence was so powerful that he moved away from his previous oath. Arnold Bocklin's love for myth encouraged his mature paintings of the 1860s-70s. It was like the work of some of the great artists at that period.

    Late period

    While Arnold Bocklin gained popularity in the 1860s, he didn't gain fame until the later part of his life. He and Angela were forced to live a frugal lifestyle for most of his career. When he got famous and successful, Bocklin became one of the greatest artists in Germany during his last days. It was majorly due to cultural changes by the end of the 19th century. Bocklin's artworks were sold at a high price among the new audience base. He continued painting till the last decade of his life and died on January 16th, 1901, in Fiesole, Italy. He influenced so many great painters of his time, such as Rudolf Schick. His different painting styles such as Romanticism, classicism, and Braque. He was inspired by the symbolic painters who also explored mythological imagery. It appears clearly in his artwork. Arnold Bocklin never saw himself as a modern artist but as an inheritor of post-Renaissance tradition


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