Thursday, November 5, 2009

Arnold Böcklin - "There is no end to the poetry of the beautiful."

The Sacred Wood, 1882

"More than anything else that grows from the ground, trees have been the object of reverence and worship from the very earliest times. Indeed the sacred grove, the wooded place set apart and possessing a special atmosphere of numinosity, was arguably the earliest form of garden. ... In Böcklin’s beautiful and haunting picture a procession of worshippers, white-robed and hooded, emerges out of the dark depths of a wood and turns to bow down before a stone altar on which a sacred fire is burning. In the background, in stark contrast to the shadowy wood, one can just see part of a sunlit Doric colonnade, gleaming in white and ochre, overlooking a pale blue sea. In this way Böcklin brilliantly combines and contrasts in one painting the worlds of the druidic north and the Apollonian south." - Mitch Williamson

The Sacred Grove

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