A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Posts tagged ‘Art Exhibitions’

Ferdinand Hodler,and How to Own One of his Paintings.

Ferdinand Hodler was another Artist to whom success didn’t come easily.

He was born in the city prison at Bern Switzerland,there his mother was the cook. It was 1853, and although married his parents couldn’t afford to live anywhere together they were so poor. The Hodlers had five children before Ferdinands father died. His mother remarried and her second husband brought five children of his own into the family before he left them all and went off to see the world.

At the age of twelve Ferdinand was head of the family.

Three years later his mother collapsed and died in the city, and the young boy loaded her body into a cart and took her home.Later with the help of his brothers ans sisters they took her coffin to the churchyard.

He said later in life “This picture remained long and clear before my eyes for ever”.

For many years he unsuccessfully tried to be accepted at one of the Art Schools. At last his talent was seen by the Artist Barthelemy Menn who ran a well known Art School in Geneva.

He was allowed to study without paying,but he didn’t have an easy life. His fellow pupils mocked him for being so poor,and because he spoke such appalling french. Most of the time he was hungry.

His paintings from that time were dark and dismal. What he depicted was the fear of the illness that killed both his parents and most of his brothers and sisters. Tuberculosis.

Then in 1887 he was invited to Paris and was awarded an honorary medal for one of his paintings.

At the same time he was working on “Night” and in it he showed what until then nobody had dared to show in this way. It took him two years to finish and it was a scandal for the Art World.

The name Hodler was known.

He was invited to Vienna, he was invited to Berlin.Only the prude city of Geneva didn’t want to show his paintings.

Hodler became more and more a painter of light. After Parallelism he found Symbolism,a movement that mostly he started.

He eliminated everything unnecessary in his paintings,a way that led to almost total Abstraction.

He painted huge canvasses and frescoes always on the search for expression. and he conquered his own world.

In 1914 Wilhelm 11 ,the last German Emperor said at an exhibition as he was presented to him.”Emperors and Kings come and go, but there is only one Hodler. It is my honour to meet you”.

Not much later Hodler signed a petition against the German bombing of Reims Cathedral,and attended a dinner with the emperor wearing not any German orders of merit but the rosette of the French Legion of Honour on his jacket After which public opinion wanted all his paintings in Germany destroyed. The Kaiser just had them boarded up.

Almost a hundred years later Hodlers’ paintings are worth almost 6.000,000  dollars each.

Not many people can afford one,but you can look at them at the present Hodler Exhibition at the Art Museum in Bern.showing a hundred and fifty of Hodlers works from museums and private owners.

One is missing.

It was collected from the owner before the exhibition by a woman with an identity card showing herself to be an employee of the Bern Museum and it hasn’t been seen since.

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Paintings On The Wall

Often I have stood in front of one of the worlds great paintings in a museum or gallery, full of wonder for what a painter could achieve.with a few tubes of paint.
Awed by the masterpiece before me I still ask myself,-would I want to take it home,-could I live with it on the wall.?
The answer is more often than not no.
If I could take five of the worlds great pictures ,what would they be?

A Monet for sure,one of the water lilies. I am a terrible romantic.

A Vermeer, with or without earrings.

A Whistler nocturne of the Thames.Musn’t forget England.

Yep,one of Edward Hoppers. You are right,the famous one.

And of course because I live in a land of mountains and lakes, a painting by the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler. The one of the Lake of Geneva to be specific.
An exhibition of a hundred and fifty of his works opened last week at the Kunstmuseum in Berne and will be showing until the middle of August.If you do happen to be here don’t miss it.

Which famous paintings would you hang on the wall?

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