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The Dream of the Shepherd by Ferdinand Hodler
The Dream of the Shepherd by Ferdinand Hodler on the Depict FrameThe Dream of the Shepherd by Ferdinand Hodler

The Dream of the Shepherd, 1896

Ferdinand Hodler

This powerful and haunting painting looks like a scene from mythology, or a dream. Its title reveals the artist’s meaning: a shepherd, resting, dreams of a group of dancing naked women on a riverbank. The vivid, unnatural colors bring an electric charge to the scene, making it look surreal. The careful composition and deliberate symmetry lend a formal unity that underlines the subject as symbolic, a scene imbued with meaning. Some critics of the time banned the painting, citing excessive eroticism.

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Credit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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