Ferdinand Hodler


Ferdinand Hodler was a 19th century, Swiss realist painter, who was highly influenced by his study of Hans Holbein and Velásquez. He is best known for developing a genre of symbolist imagery he called ‘parallelism,’ creating compositions that reflect the symmetries and patterns Holder believed innate to society. Holder’s works are characterized by flat perspective, naturalistic figures, and a subdued color palette. Despite common stylistic characteristics, Holder’s paintings vary widely in subject matter. While some works were widely patriotic, others deviated from societal acceptability, and he joined both the Berlin and Vienna Secession movements. The Swiss National Bank commissioned Holder to create images for the second series of the 50 and 100 Franc banknotes; his resulting designs were controversial, as they portrayed everyday manual laborers rather than famous figures.

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