Isle of the Dead by Arnold Bocklin, Symbolism Art 2 Inch Round Button
Isle of the Dead, third version (German: Die Toteninsel) (1883) by Arnold Bocklin is a vintage Victorian Era Symbolism fine art macabre mythology painting. A human ghost in a boat moving towards an island with cypress trees and tall cliffs of rock surrounded by the calm sea ocean. All versions of Isle (Island) of the Dead depict a desolate and rocky islet seen across an expanse of dark water. A small rowboat is just arriving at a water gate and seawall on shore. An oarsman maneuvers the boat from the stern. In the bow, facing the gate, is a standing figure clad entirely in white. Just behind the figure is a white, festooned object commonly interpreted as a coffin. The tiny islet is dominated by a dense grove of tall, dark cypress trees — associated by long-standing tradition with cemeteries and mourning — which is closely hemmed in by precipitous cliffs. Furthering the funerary theme are what appear to be sepulchral portals and windows penetrating the rock faces. The overall impression conveyed by the imagery is one of both hopeless desolation and tense expectation. About the artist: Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) was a painter specializing in Symbolism and influenced by Romanticism overlapping with the Pre-Raphaelites. They often portray mythological, fantasy figures along classical architecture constructions (revealing often an obsession with death) and creating a strange, fantasy world.