Five Striding Men. Study for the painting Eurhythmy, 1894
Leopold Museum, Vienna
Five Striding Men. Study for the painting Eurhythmy 1894
Pencil, gouache on paper
(Bern 1853–1918 Genva)
Unfortunately not on display at the moment
In Five Striding Men. Study for the painting Eurhythmy, a precursor for a monumental oil painting dating from 1894, Ferdinand Hodler (1853–1918) rhythmically segments the horizontal composition with the figures of bearded men in wide, flowing, toga-like garments walking in a single file. Hodler outlines the figures with swift, secure pencil strokes. He pays especially close attention to the articulation of folds, beards and strands of hair. With equally confident and dynamic brush strokes, the Swiss painter renders the gray background in gouache. A bright margin is left as if to frame the uncolored figures and suggest spatial depth. In his work Eurhythmy, Hodler referred to the anthroposophical artistic dance originated in Switzerland by Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) and Marie von Sivers (1867–1948). The movement of bodies in space is a recurring motif in Hodler’s oeuvre. The painter frequently used dance as a metaphor for the phenomenon of existence.