Painter, draughtsman, commercial artist, sculptor, landscape painter and history painter
The Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin was born in Basel in 1827. He studied at the art academy in Düsseldorf, where he was a pupil of the landscape painter Wilhelm Schirmer. In Paris he experienced the turmoil of the Revolution in 1848 – a decisive experience for a painter from a bourgeois family. In 1850 he went to Rome to study, where he met Anselm Feuerbach. The sun-filled Italian landscape inspired him to numerous nature studies, and cypresses appear again and again in his later works. He married an Italian woman in 1853. Their precarious financial situation forced him to return to Germany with his family in 1857. Böcklin received his first commissions in Hanover and Basel. The family lived for a brief time in Munich. The Bavarian royal house purchased one of his paintings. In 1860 he was summoned to teach at the art school in Weimar. In 1862 he returned to Italy, where he was inspired by antiquity. His nature studies increasingly gave way to depictions of mythical creatures. In 1892 he suffered a stroke in Zurich. Nine years later, in 1901, he died in San Domenico, Italy.