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Detail In the Sea - detail - Arnold Bocklin painting 1883In the Sea by Arnold Bocklin 1883Detail from IN THE SEA by Arnold Bocklin

Art and Artifice

Arnold Bocklin In the Sea - 1883

Detail side of Singing Mermaid - In the Sea 1883 by Arnold Bocklin

ARNOLD BOCKLIN 1827 – 1901

In the Sea – 86.5 × 115 cm (34 3/8" × 45 3/4")

Chicago Art Institute has a page about the painting here

[Below] Text from Masters in Art, Vol 75, published 1906:

Mini-Bio Arnold Bocklin

Bocklin was born on October 16, 1827, in Basel, Switzerland.

His father was at that time a cloth merchant of small means, who, not being successful in that line of business, and after an equally unsuccessful venture as joint proprietor of a ribbon factory, obtained a position as overseer of a similar establishment, earning thereby barely enough to support his large family.

He managed, however, to have his children well educated, and in addition to the regular course of study in the college of the town his sons attended the Drawing Academy of Basel, where they received an excellent training in the art in which Arnold early gave signs of exceptional talent.

At that day but little interest in matters pertaining to art was taken by the worthy and practical burghers of Basle. The town possessed no public art gallery, but in a dingy room of the university library was preserved the priceless collection of Holbein's works, now housed in the Basel Museum.

In this room Arnold Bocklin, when a boy, spent many hours, and there can be no doubt that a study of Holbein's inimitable creations did much towards awakening in him an earnest desire to devote his life to art.

In his rambles about the picturesque country surrounding his native town his imagination was still further quickened, and his love of the beautiful fostered.

In these walks his fertile fancy peopled the woods and streams with the fabulous creatures made familiar to him by the classic legends which, in his school days, had charmed his imagination.

His earliest artistic efforts were landscapes – landscapes in which sometimes a weird effect was produced by moonlight and contrasting shadows, sometimes stormy skies and ruined, desolate castles were portrayed, but always they were of a nature to appeal to the emotions. Art and music and poetry filled the boy's soul, but above all did painting, that special form of art which responded to his intuitive love color, growing to be his absorbing passion.

To his wish to become a painter, however, his father was seriously opposed. In the elder Bocklin's estimation, there were already too many struggling artists.

It is impossible to give in English a phonetic spelling of the name Bocklin. The pronunciation of the "o" in German is similar to the sound of tu in the French words fw, jeu, bleu, etc. If, therefore, this pronunciation be observed, a fairly correct phonetic spelling of the artist's name may be said to be Beuk'lin.

Singing Mermaid - Arnold Bocklin 1883



Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice - AMAZON Published by Watson-Guptill, 256 pages

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