Friday, January 21, 2011

The Adventurer

The Adventurer (1882) by the Swiss symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901).

Despite is nearly perfectly painted with very realistic details, it’s no realistic painting at all. The whole scenery and pose are constructed. The parting ship, the bones, the lonesome knight all are symbols.
Böcklin doesn’t pretend to show a real scene of history, it’s much more an idea, a dream.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Facing Death

The Last moments of Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico by the French painter Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921).

Laurens shows here the farewell of Maximilian before his execution. Different from his friends he’s the only one showing real strength, he’s going to die like an Emperor.