Arnold Böcklin, Isle of the Dead: Third version, 1883

A small boat with two figures and a white coffin arrive at a small island where the rock facades are replete with tombs. Böcklin only described the painting as a “dream painting” but many have interpreted the figures to be that of a recently deceased soul (dressed in white) being ferried across the still waters of the River Styx by the oarsman Charon.
Böcklin made six versions of this painting; interestingly, this one was bought by Adolf Hitler in 1933 and he later hung it in the New Reich Chancellery.

Leave a Reply