Quell in einer Felsschlucht (Spring in a Narrow Gorge)

Arnold Böcklin1881

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Symmetrically composed with high cliffs and dark trees framing an aperture of sky at the end of a gorge, this landscape features a single birch tree standing brilliantly green.

Even without human figures or animals, Böcklin's painting seems decidedly more symbolic than descriptive. Is this a representation of life's brevity or its eternity? Its meaning is veiled; the artist was noted for his ability to conjure mood through landscape without clear narrative content.

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  • Title: Quell in einer Felsschlucht (Spring in a Narrow Gorge)
  • Creator: Arnold Böcklin
  • Date: 1881
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 84.5 x 59.4 cm (33 1/4 x 23 3/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: Signed and dated, on cliff face at upper left: "AB/1881"
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 2010.31
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum West Pavilion, Gallery W205
  • Department: Paintings
  • Culture: German
  • Classification: Paintings