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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 opend 21.6×27 cm


  • Ferdinand Hodler

    (Bern 1853–1918 Genva)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
The last two vertical pages of the Letter from Ferdinand Hodler to the Cologne-born art critic and journalist Franz Servaes (1862–1947), who lived in Vienna and worked for the Freie Wiener Presse – one of the most important daily newspaper in the capital and seat of the empire around 1900 – were also created by folding a brownish sheet of paper in half. In his quick and slightly irregular handwriting with rounded letters, Ferdinand Hodler (1853–1918) uses warm, heart-felt words to cultivate his friendship with Servaes, an important representative of the press. The friendly closing phrases also include warm regards to Servaes’s wife, complemented by personal words in the elegant, curved handwriting of Hodler’s wife Berthe. In 1904, Hodler joins the Vienna Secession, as well as the Berlin and Munich Secessions. The Bern-born artist, who has lived and worked in Geneva since he was 18 years old, becomes an important inspiration for many artists in the Vienna Secession. Despite ardent debates about his oeuvre, Hodler is soon considered Switzerland’s “national painter” and his radiant reputation reaches far beyond the boundaries of the Swiss Confederation.

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 opend 21.6×27 cm
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 6024 2
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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