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At the end of the 19th century Arnold Böcklin was a well-known painter. Die Gefilde der Seligen, apparently the painting the book refers to, had been commissioned in 1876 by the National Gallery. After its exhibition caused a public scandal it was quickly removed: The female nudity in the foreground, the provocative wild virility of the centaur carrying the ...


4

@Tsundoku writes: "He is teasing Effi with the idea that marriage does not lead to a blessed or happy state, so she should at least get a glimpse of it before she gets married." Not quite. Dagobert is teasing Effi with a reference to a painting that has been taken down later because it was thought obscene. So there is an erotic undertone in his ...


6

The comment doesn't need to reference a real painting to make sense in the context of the novel, but some searching shows that Fontane had a particular painting in mind. Since Hesiod, Elysium has also been known as the "Isles of the Blessed" or the "Fortunate Isles" and there are several paintings and artworks that have been inspired by ...


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