Ferdinand Hodler

Ferdinand Hodler (March 14, 1853 in Berne – May 19, 1918 in Geneva) was one of the best-known Swiss painters of the 19th century.

At the age of 18, Hodler moved to Geneva to start a career as a painter. Hodler's early work consisted mainly of landscapes, but later in his career his work evolved to combine influences from several genres including symbolism and art nouveau, an approach that he called Parallelism.

At the end of the 19th century, Hodler approached the expressionist aspect of his work with coloured and geometrical figures. However, the most famous pieces of Holder's work portray scenes in which characters are engaging in everyday life, such as the famous woodcutter (Der Holzfäller, Musée d'Orsay, Paris). This picture went on to appear on the back of the 50 Swiss Franc bank note issued by the Swiss National Bank.

In 1889, Hodler married Berthe Jacques. In 1914 he condemned the German attrocities conducted using artillery at Rheims. In retaliation for this, German art houses excluded Hodler's work.

The death of his mistress, Valentine Gode-Darel, in 1915 affected Hodler greatly and he died on May 19, 1918 in Geneva leaving behind a number of unfinished works portraying the city.