Hodler, Ferdinand

Hodler, Ferdinand

(hōd`lər), 1853–1918, Swiss painter and lithographer. Known for his emotion-laden portraits and landscapes, he is particularly beloved in his native country. At first he worked in a manner that combined realism with an ornamental style akin to art nouveauart nouveau
, decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I.
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. Inclined toward mysticism, a tendency that can be seen in works such as his painting The Night (1889–1890), he visited Paris in 1891 and was attracted to the symbolist group that had formed around GauguinGauguin, Paul
, 1848–1903, French painter and woodcut artist, b. Paris; son of a journalist and a French-Peruvian mother. Early Life

Gauguin was first a sailor, then a successful stockbroker in Paris. In 1874 he began to paint on weekends.
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. Hodler then evolved his own powerful means of expression with strong rhythmic patterns and a tight linear structure, which he called parallelism. He was one of the earliest painters to influence the expressionists of the next generation (see expressionismexpressionism,
term used to describe works of art and literature in which the representation of reality is distorted to communicate an inner vision. The expressionist transforms nature rather than imitates it.
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). His paintings became more personal and simplified in his final decade, as in the portrait of his dying lover Valentine Godé-Darel. Other characteristic paintings are Eurythmy (1894–95, Bern) and The Woodcutter (1910, Mus. d'Orsay, Paris).

Bibliography

See studies by P. Selz (1972), S. L. Hirsh (1982), T. Brezzola et al. (2004), W. Hauptman (2008), and the Neue Galerie (museum catalog, 2012).