Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901)
“Isle of the Dead” (1883) (third version)
Oil on panel
Located in the Alte Nationalgalerie , Berlin, Germany
“Isle of the Dead” is the best known painting by Böcklin. Böcklin himself provided no public explanation as to the meaning of the painting, though he did describe it as “a dream picture: it must produce such a stillness that one would be awed by a knock on the door.“ This version was painted for Böcklin’s dealer Fritz Gurlitt. In 1933, this version was put up for sale and a noted Böcklin admirer, Adolf Hitler, acquired it. He hung it first at the Berghof in Obersalzberg and, then after 1940, in the New Reich Chancellery in Berlin. It is now at the Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.