Ferdinand von Keller(German, 1842-1922)

Ferdinand von Keller(German, 1842-1922)

The Pool

signed and dated 'Ferdinand Keller. 1911.' lower right--oil on canvas
42¾ x 50in. (108.5 x 127cm.)
Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts, Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe, June 8-October 15, 1995, no. 187, illustrated no. 179. p. 155

Lot Essay

Keller's latter career was dominated by symbolist themes closely related to those of Arnold Böcklin's. The use of cypress trees in particular recalls Böcklin's The Isle of the Dead of 1880 (Gottfried Keller Collection, Kunst Museum, Basel), a traditional symbol of the dead. The Roman funerary altar is also a feature associated with Böcklin's close bonds to the Antique. Despite the clear derivation of Keller's oeuvre, this work and The Tomb of Böcklin (Staatliche Kunst Sammlungen, Karlsruhe) continues the master's tradition, which combines German nature worship with a classical vocabulary, and which was to influence the Surrealists such as de Chirico, Dali and Ernst.