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Ruin by the Sea

Ruin by the Sea

1881

Arnold Böcklin

(Swiss, 1827-1901)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 132.1 x 102.9 x 8.3 cm (52 x 40 1/2 x 3 1/4 in.); Unframed: 111 x 82 cm (43 11/16 x 32 5/16 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1979.57

Fun Fact

Who used to live in this crumbling villa on a lonely shore? Böcklin's eerie painting seems to beg the question of the building's history and the circumstances of its ruin. Haunted by the past, this scene also contains premonitions of future peril.

Description

The dark, ruined villa in this painting is made especially mysterious by the strange cypress trees tossed by the wind. A nervous green light flickers through the scene. Influenced by German Romantic art of the early 1800s, Böcklin was preoccupied with dreamlike images suggestive of death.

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