Sotheby’s to Sell Masterpiece by Swiss Artist Arnold Böcklin

Arnold Böcklin, Odysseus and Polyphemus. Oil on panel, 66 by 150cm., 26 by 59in. Estimate: 800,000-1,200,000 GBP. Photo: Sotheby's.

A masterpiece by Swiss artist Arnold Böcklin depicting a dramatic retelling of a story from Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ is to headline Sotheby’s sale of European Paintings in London on Monday, 11 June 2012. Odysseus and Polyphemus, painted in 1896, is redolent of the fin-de-siècle spirit that enveloped Europe as a new century dawned. Estimated at £800,000-1,200,000 (€970,000-1,460,000), the oil on panel comes to the market from a European Private Collection and is being offered for sale at auction for the first time. The provenance of the work can be traced back directly to the artist, and the painting has featured in numerous exhibitions and monographs on Böcklin.

Odysseus and Polyphemus depicts the climax of the story of Odysseus and Polyphemus as recounted by Homer in Book 9 of his ‘Odyssey’, when Odysseus and his men flee the enraged Cyclops they have just blinded. Böcklin’s composition creates great movement and tension between the oarsmen who put all their strength against the swell in the sea that threatens to return them within the Cyclops reach, and the towering figure of the Cyclops himself, his face deliberately obscured so as not to distract the viewer’s attention from the struggle at hand. The story had fascinated artists through the centuries, from Antiquity to the Renaissance and beyond, making Böcklin’s work part of the canon of epic renditions that vividly illustrate tales associated with the eponymous Greek hero.

Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) dominated the art of German-speaking countries in the last decades of the nineteenth century. The larger than life subject and the bravura technique of Odysseus and Polyphemus are a reflection of the personality cult which surrounded him. Considered by Edvard Munch to be ‘the sacred flame’ who stood apart from German artists of the time, whose traditional works the Norwegian artist found unbearable, Böcklin was venerated among painters and the public alike. His work captivated contemporary audiences and its power remains undiminished. The escapist mythological imagery that features in his oeuvre beguiles the viewer, and to understand what drew Böcklin to his subjects when it did, and the hold his art exercised over them and us, it is necessary to look at the particular historical context in which he was working.

You can read the full article via ArtDaily here. 

You Might Also Like...
Sayed Haider Raza, Rajasthan I, 1982. Acrylic and oil on canvas. Est. $600/800,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
On 19 March 2013, Sotheby’s will present the Amaya Collection, the first international Evening Sale of Indian Art and the first single-owner sale in this category to be held at ...
READ MORE
Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764-1820), A View of Mount Vernon with the Washington Family on the Terrace. Estimate $500/700,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
Sotheby’s annual Americana Week auctions will take place in New York on 25 & 26 January 2013. The Important Americana sale will begin at 10:00am on the 25th with a ...
READ MORE
Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude No. 5, 1961. Oil and mixed media collage on board. Estimate: £500,000-700,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
Sotheby’s announced that it will offer for sale an extraordinary group of Modern and Contemporary artworks from a Private Swedish Collection. Built by a private Swedish individual from the 1960s ...
READ MORE
Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Self-Portrait, signed, titled and dated 1980. Oil on canvas, each 35.5 by 30.5 cm.; 14 by 12 in. Estimate: £10,000,000 – 15,000,000. Photo: Sotheby's.
In the wake of Sotheby’s third most successful year ever for global auctions of Contemporary Art (2012), which totalled $1.25 billion and saw a new record set for the work ...
READ MORE
Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, Susanna and the Elders. Signed lower left on wall P.B. 1751. Oil on canvas. Est. $6/9 million. Photo: Sotheby's.
Sotheby’s annual Old Masters Week auctions in New York will be held from 29 January to 2 February 2013, offering a wide range of works spanning the 14th to 19th ...
READ MORE
Isidor Kaufmann, Rabbi with Young Student. Oil on panel. Est. $350/550,000. Sold for: $512,500. Photo: Sotheby's.
Sotheby’s annual December auctions of Important Judaica and Israeli & International Art brought a combined total of $7,908,754 today in New York, and many first time buyers participated in both ...
READ MORE
László Moholy-Nagy, Fotogram. Est. $300/500,000. Sold for $1,482,500. Photo: Sotheby's.
Yesterday at Sotheby’s, the sale A Show Of Hands: Photographs from The Collection of Henry Buhl concluded, bringing a total of $12,318,704, exceeding the pre-sale estimate of $8.1/12.2 million*. The ...
READ MORE
A letter addressed to American-born singer Marsha Hunt. Handwritten letters from Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger to his former lover Marsha Hunt were auctioned in London. Hunt is a singer who was the inspiration for the Stones' 1971 hit "Brown Sugar" and bore Jagger's first child. The collection, which includes song lyrics and a Rolling Stones playlist, was expected to fetch between $111,300 and $159,000. AP Photo/Sotheby's.
A collection of letters sent by Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger to his secret lover in the summer of 1969 sold for around $300,000 at a London auction on Wednesday, ...
READ MORE
Sotheby’s to Offer Amaya Collection of Modern &
Important Americana for Sale at Sotheby’s New York
Sotheby’s London to Offer Private Swedish Art Collection
Outstanding Artworks by Blue-chip Masters Headline Sotheby’s Auction
Sotheby’s New York Old Masters Week Will be
International art Sale Brings a Combined $7.9 Million
Buhl Collection Brings $12.3M – Record Total for
Love Letters Written by Mick Jagger Sold at

Be Sociable, Share!
This entry was posted in Art, Art Market, Art News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>