Carlos Schwabe

Germany / 1866 - 1926 / wikipedia
Self portrait, c. 1900

Carlos Schwabe (July 21, 1866 – 22 Jan. 1926); Swiss Symbolist painter and printmaker.

Born in Altona, Holstein, and moved to Geneva, Switzerland at an early age, where he received Swiss nationality. After studying art in Geneva, he relocated to Paris as a young man, where he worked as a wallpaper designer, and became acquainted with Symbolist artists, musicians (Guillaume Lekeu, Vincent d'Indy) and writers. In 1892, he was one of the painters of the famous Salon de la Rose + Croix organized by Joséphin Péladan at the Galerie Durand-Ruel. His poster for the first Salon is an important symbolic work of the idealist new art. He exhibited at the Société nationale des Beaux-Arts, at the Salon d'automne and was present at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 (Gold Medal), but also in Munich, Zürich, Vienna, and Brussels. His paintings typically featured mythological and allegorical themes with a very personal and idealist vision and a social interest. His important work La Vague (The Wave), and its preparatory drawings are a testimony of the engagement of the artist during the "Affaire Dreyfus". Schwabe is one of the most important symbolist book illustrators. He illustrated Zola's novel Le rêve, Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal, Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande , and Albert Samain's Jardin de l'infante, among others.... Schwabe lived in France for the rest of his life and died in Avon, Seine-et-Marne in 1926.

Two distinct styles are recognized in Schwabe's art. Before 1900, Schwabe's paintings were more individual and experimental, indicating the idealism of the Symbolists; conventional, allegorical scenes from nature became more prominent in his later work. Images of women were important, sometimes representing death and suffering, other times creativity and guidance. His first wife was his model for angels and virgins, and "Death" in Death and the Grave Digger resembles her. The death of...
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First Collected by

Henrik Sputnes


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