Ferdinand Hodler

(1853 - 1918)
Ferdinand Hodler Lake Thun and the Stockhorn Mountains 1910

Biography

Hodler was born in Berne, Switzerland. His parents died when he was young and his brothers and sister also died at an early age. Death was a common subject among the Symbolist artists of the 1880s and 1890s, and it is also one of the main themes in Hodler's art. Late in his career Hodler produced a series of mountain landscapes of the Lake Thun area, near Berne. A deeply religious artist, Hodler was very conscious of the symmetry in the life-cycle of birth and death and saw symmetry in nature as an extension of this.

Glossary terms

  • The representation of subjects or ideas by use of a device or motif to create underlying meaning. A literary and artistic movement that originated in France and spread through much of Europe in the late 19th century. There was no consistent style but rather an appeal to the idea of the artist as mystic or visionary and the desire to express a world beyond superficial appearances.