Ferdinand Hodler was one of the best-known Swiss painters of the 19th century.
The works of Hodler's early maturity consisted of landscapes, figure compositions and portraits, treated with a vigorous realism. He made a trip to Basel in 1875, where he studied the paintings of Hans Holbein—especially Dead Christ in the Tomb, which influenced Hodler's many treatments of the theme of death.
In the last decade of the 19th century his work evolved to combine influences from several genres including symbolism and art nouveau. He developed a style which he called Parallelism, characterized by groupings of figures symmetrically arranged in poses suggesting ritual or dance.