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Letter from Ferdinand Hodler to Franz Servaes (2 sheets, written on both sides and folded once), 30th Dec. 1904

Leopold Museum,
Ink on paper
Folded 21.6×13.5 cm open 21.6×27 cm


  • Ferdinand Hodler

    (Bern 1853–1918 Genva)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
After folding the brownish paper in half, Ferdinand Hodler (1853–1918) covered the two vertical halves with his quick and slightly irregular handwriting in round letters to recount his recent major successes in a very personal letter dated 30th December 1904 to Franz Servaes (1862–1947), a journalist and art critic who lived in Vienna and worked for the Freie Wiener Presse – one of the most important daily newspapers in Vienna around 1900. In the same year, Hodler had seen his artistic breakthrough in Vienna, the capital and seat of the empire, marking the beginning of his international success. Hodler opens his letter to Cologne-born Servaes with a polite apology for his late reply and goes on to report in sincere phrases that he has joined the artists’ associations Kölner Künstlerbund and Berliner Künstlerbund. The central theme of the letter’s six pages, composed by Hodler on eight half-sheets, are his artistic ideas and his development of parallelism as a design principle, which he explains to his friend, the art critic.

Object data

  • Ferdinand Hodler
Letter from Ferdinand Hodler to Franz Servaes (2 sheets, written on both sides and folded once)
30th Dec. 1904
Ink on paper
Folded 21.6×13.5 cm open 21.6×27 cm
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 6024 1
Inventory access
Accession 2016 2017
Selection of Reference works
  • Ferdinand Hodler: Wahlverwandtschaft von Klimt bis Schiele, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2017 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 13.10.2017–22.01.2018).
  • Koloman Moser 1868-1818, hrsg. von Rudolf Leopold/Gerd Pichler, Wien 2007 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 25.05.2007-10.09.2007).
  • Walter Hugelshofer Ferdinand Hodler: Eine Monographie, Zürich, 1952.

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Deutsche Privatsammlung (vor 1925-2017); (1)
Kotte Autographs GmbH, Roßhaupten, Deutschland (2017); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 2017)

  1. Archiv des Leopold Museums, E-mail Thomas Kotte an Dr. Alfred Fehringer (LMPS) vom 28.04.2022
  2. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Rechnung Nr. 076/2017 vom 23.03.2017

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