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PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Arnold Böcklin
SWISS
MONDSCHEINLANDSCHAFT MIT RUINE (MOONLIT LANDSCAPE)
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 139,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
4

PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Arnold Böcklin
SWISS
MONDSCHEINLANDSCHAFT MIT RUINE (MOONLIT LANDSCAPE)
Estimate
60,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 139,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings Including Spanish Painting, The Orientalist Sale, and German, Austrian, Scandinavian and Symbolist Works

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Arnold Böcklin
1827 - 1901
SWISS
MONDSCHEINLANDSCHAFT MIT RUINE (MOONLIT LANDSCAPE)
signed and dated A. Böcklin 1849 lower right
oil on canvas
24.5 by 32.5cm., 9½ by 12¾in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

E. Jung, Wintherthur (by 1898)
Hans Reinhart, Wintherthur (brother of Oskar Reinhart); thence by descent to the present owner

Exhibited

Basel, Kunsthalle, Basler Kunstverein, Böcklin-Jubiläums-Ausstellung, 1897, no. 13 
Winterthur, Kunstmuseum, Der Wintherthurer Privatbesitz, 1942
Basel, Kunstmuseum, Basler Kunstverein, Arnold Böcklin. Gemälde, Plastiken. Ausstellung zum 150. Geburtstag, 1977, no. 25 
Zürich, Kunsthaus; Munich, Haus der Kunst; Berlin, Nationalgalerie: Arnold Böcklin, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst; Eine Reise ins Ungewisse, 1997-98, no. 7
Basel, Kunstmuseum; Paris, Musée d'Orsay; Munich, Neue Pinakothek: Arnold Böcklin, 2001-02, no. 5

Literature

Karl Woermann, 'Zur Baseler Böcklin-Ausstellung 1897', in Von Apelles zu Böcklin und weiter. Gesammelte kunstgeschichtliche Aufsätze, Vorträge und Besprechungen, Esslingen am Neckar, 1912, vol. 2, p. 157
Henriette Mendelsohn, Böcklin, Berlin, 1901, pp. 32-4, 78, 107 
Heinrich Alfred Schmid, Verzeichnis der Werke Arnold Böcklins, Munich, 1903, no. 40 
Richard Hamann, Die deutsche Malerei im 19. Jahrhundert, Leipzig and Berlin, 1914, pp. 188-89 (titled Reiter im Mondschein)
Günther Kleineberg, Die Entwicklung der Naturpersonifizierung im Werk Arnold Böcklins (1827-1901). Studien zur Ikonographie und Motivik in der Kunst des 19. Jahrhunderts, Dissertation, Göttingen, 1971, pp. 41, 42, 44 & 185
Rolf Andree, Arnold Böcklin, Basel and Munich, 1977, p. 202, no. 55, catalogued and illustrated

Catalogue Note

This charged early landscape was painted when Böcklin was just twenty-two. With its distinctly Romatic overtones, the painting reflects Böcklin's most formative artistic influences, from his teachers at the Düsseldorf Academy, Johann Wilhelm Schirmer and Carl Friedrich Lessing; the Romantic painters more generally, but in particular Carus, Blechen, and Friedrich; to the seventeenth-century Dutch masters Ruysdael and Hobbema. 

From as early as the Renaissance, during the Dutch Golden Age, and throughout the work of the German Romantics, the ruin is a metaphor for the passing of time and the inevitable fall of all things terrestrial and of all human endeavour. Sublime nature reigns supreme. The passing rider and drifting clouds in the stormy moonlit sky add to the mood of transience.  

In the case of the present work, the ruin and the sombre, stormy landscape may have a more temporal and self-referential meaning. The violent 1848 Revolution in Paris, which Böcklin witnessed at first hand, left a deep impression on the young Swiss artist, who is reputed to have watched prisoners being herded by soldiers past his apartment near the Jardin du Luxembourg. As an expression of a driven young man, the present work epitomises the Sturm und Drang which ran through his work as a young painter.

The present work can be seen as a prototype for a subject to which Böcklin returned time and again over his long career, and which culminated in such famous works as The Island of the Dead, of a ruined temple hewn from a rocky outcrop in the sea. 

19th Century European Paintings Including Spanish Painting, The Orientalist Sale, and German, Austrian, Scandinavian and Symbolist Works

|
London