Painters Paintings Arnold Böcklin ( 1827 – 1901): Self-Portrait with Death Playing the Fiddle, 1872…

Painters Work Arnold Böcklin ( 1827 – 1901): Self-Portrait with Demise Taking part in the Fiddle, 1872, oil on canvas, 75 x 61 cm, Alte Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Influenced by Romanticism, Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin’s symbolist use of images derived from mythology and legend usually overlapped with the aesthetic of the Pre-Raphaelites.

On this early, idiosyncratic self-portrait, the artist engages the viewer’s gaze nearly awkwardly, pausing from his work as if half-sensing the animated skeleton enjoying the violin behind his left shoulder.
The tune the skeleton is enjoying is, probably, Böcklin’s demise music, form of a warning signal that stands for his life coming to an finish.
The portray demonstrates the gothic humor that will turn into synonymous with Böcklin’s oeuvre.
In line with the story, Bocklin solely painted within the determine of Demise in response to his associates’ asking what he appeared to be listening to. This clearly pertains to the seek for the last word that characterizes this selfportrait, and the inspiration the artist attracts from the fixed proximity of demise.

The work appears to convey a message, and the message is that there’s a skinny line between life and demise, so don’t take life so calmly.

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