Der Buchenwald by Ferdinand Hodler

Der Buchenwald

(The Buchenwald)


Ferdinand Hodler

Der Buchenwald by Ferdinand Hodler
1885  ·  Oil on canvas  ·  16.55 Megapixel  ·  Picture ID:28572
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Here Ferdinand Hodler shows in an impressive way how Art Nouveau and Realism unite. The motif of a young beech forest clearly shows the slight curves that are so typical of Art Nouveau. We are here in late autumn or snowless winter, at the latest at the end of winter, even before a crocus wants to look into the world. For the trees are bare, only sporadically still dried leaves hang on the branches and the ground vegetation is diluted. Long shadows indicate that it is still early in the day. The viewer has the sun in his back, so looks to the west. In the background one can guess delicate pine trees whose light crowns rise softly, almost protectively, over the young beech trees.

Basically, the description could be exhausted. A mood picture to early winter hour. But on closer inspection you can see an ant hill on the bottom left, which hides bustle, but the viewer seems to disappear totally motionless and unspectacular in the background. At the top right much closer leaves indicate that we do not look at this forest exclusively from the outside. It must be a clearing on which we stand, because at least one tree is very close to us. In the middle of the picture, a bright track on the forest floor shows that here is a path that some beings have gone through again and again. She seems to lose herself after a few meters in the forest. Is it a game change?

If you take a closer look and look at the picture in detail, you will notice that where the trail seems to end, you can see two shadowy, spirit-like figures. Clearly a stooped man can be seen on the right side of the path. On the left, one is not sure, is it a stake or an upright being, who is worshiped by his opponent with bowing? Maybe it's just the correction of an original motive that the artist has rejected and now seems to come out.

And suddenly you can clearly see the man with the hat, who is doing something further back in the forest. At least now we realize: The painter was also known for his symbolism. © Meisterdrucke


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