Curator Eva Reifert gives an introduction to the twelve groupings of works by Arnold Böcklin with his predecessors, contemporaries or like-minded artists.

Even during his lifetime, Böcklin was a controversial figure. Some saw him as an innovator, whilst others accused him of being a reactionary force, impeding progress in the arts.

Configured in twelve groupings, works by Böcklin are juxtaposed with those of his predecessors, contemporaries and unexpectedly like-minded artists, allowing key biographical, stylistic and thematic aspects of his oeuvre to emerge. The mood shifts between satire, an evocative melancholy and solemn sobriety.

The still unfathomable quality in his work, its irreconcilable counterposing of a wish for innovation with an adherence to tradition, reveals Böcklin to have been a true product of the Fin de Siècle, rich in inconsistencies as it was.

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