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Swiss Modernities (1890-1914)

90 min visit

Musee d'Orsay
19 May → 25 Jul 2021
Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 6 pm. Thursday until 9:45 pm. Closed Monday.

« Landscape paintings inspired by Van Gogh, portraits in Gauguin's style , canvases full of colour and emotion... That's modern Swiss artists! »

As you probably know, the 19th century marked the beginning of an artistic revival, with the appearance of artistic movements on the fringes of modern academism. Movements that constantly mixed with each other: impressionism, symbolism, fauvism, expressionism... The 19th century thus saw the birth of the first artistic avant-gardes in Europe. But some countries remained in the shadow of other nations... This is the case of Switzerland, whose artists from the end of the 19th century remain little known outside their country. Yet they played a major role in the construction of artistic modernity! In the 1890s, a generation of Swiss artists was formed. Trained in Germany, Italy or France at the Académie Julian in Paris, they were little known elsewhere. They included painters such as Félix Vallotton, who was probably the best known of them; Augusto Giacometti, who was none other than the great uncle of the contemporary sculptor; Cuno Amiet, who was close to the Giacometti family and came from the generation of painters from Pont Aven; and Ernest Biéler, a painter from the Savièse school. Although they were part of the European avant-garde of the beginning of their century, they remained attached to the Swiss aesthetic tradition and the history of their native country. The Musée d'Orsay is honouring Swiss artists in a new exhibition! In France, there have only been two exhibitions on the Swiss art scene (in 1934 and 1970), as well as two retrospectives on Ferdinand Hodler, in 2007 at the Musée d'Orsay, and on Félix Vallotton, in 2014 at the Grand Palais. Although this is a period that has been dealt with many times around the world, it has (almost) never been presented from a Swiss perspective. Of the 70 works presented, some have never been shown in France. Incredible but true! (Re)discover artists of the late 19th century through different themes or monographs throughout the exhibition.


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