Children Fishing on the Bank of the Arve
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This work by Hodler is bright and sentimental, made early in his career before he embarked on the use of heavy symbolism. The painting shows in impressionistic detail two children, who are our focal point, fishing (one stood with the rod and the other watching from the bank) in the Arve river, Switzerland. Hodler’s palette is predominantly greens and blues with warm yellow highlights. The river occupies the bottom right hand corner of the composition, after which its flow is interrupted by trees, and only a small glimpse of water is then visible heading into the distance. The focal point is the children who are bathed in a warm summer light. Other figures are visible along the path towards the horizon. The composition makes it unclear what is ahead of these figures towards the horizon, adding a sense of excitement and childlike wonder for the unknown. Hodler has painted this piece from the perspective point of someone else on this path, quite low in height, involving his audience in the work. Perhaps we are watching this scene from the view of another child.