Switzerland Arts

Switzerland Arts

Some remains of monumental constructions remain from the Roman period (Augst theater, theater, amphitheater and walls of Avenches, etc.), mosaics and fragments of sculptures (golden bust of Marcus Aurelius of Avenches). The oldest fully preserved religious monument is the baptistery of Riva San Vitale (Canton Ticino, 5th century), while there are remains of early Christian churches in St.-Maurice (Valais) and in the bishops of Geneva, Chur, etc. In the sec. VI-VII, characterized by the foundation of convents (Romainmôtier, St.-Maurice, St. Gallen, 612), the artistic activity was modest. The most interesting testimonies are provided by metal crafts and religious goldsmiths (reliquary boxes in St.-Maurice and Beromünster, sec. VII). At the end of the century. VIII a general revival can be noted, with the construction, by the will of Charlemagne, of the convent of San Giovanni in Münster (780-786), with an oriental plant, which greatly influenced the architecture of the following centuries. Also worthy of mention are the basilica of St.-Maurice (787), with opposing choirs, and the cathedral of Zurich (853), which was later rebuilt. While few examples of sculpture (mostly decorative) have come down to us, there are more numerous pictorial testimonies, especially from the Irish school of St. Gallen. In addition to the illuminated manuscripts, the work of Tutilo should be remembered, the first Swiss artist whose name is mentioned. On the other hand, the fresco decoration of the church of Münster (9th century), the greatest example of Carolingian painting in Switzerland, is due to masters from northern Italy. After a long period of stagnation, with the century. XI Romanesque art also developed in Switzerland. Various basilicas of Lombard derivation were built, without transept, with one or three apses (Spiez, Biasca, Schönenwerd); churches with two towers on the facade (Einsiedeln); Cluniacs asked(Romainmôtier, Schaffhausen); episcopal churches (Basel, Chur, collegiate church of Zurich). In the field of sculpture, in addition to the spread of wooden statues, the architectural decoration should be remembered, which reaches considerable levels in the portal of the cathedral of Basel, in the cathedrals of Geneva and Neuchâtel. The wooden ceiling (mid 12th century) from Zillis (Graubünden) with 153 painted panels is unusual. Among the Romanesque goldsmith masterpieces are the frontal of Henry II (11th century, Paris, Musée de Cluny) and the cross of the monastery of Engelberg (ca. 1200).

The first large Gothic cathedral, of Burgundian influence, is that of Notre-Dame in Lausanne, begun in 1173. Some parts of the cathedral of Geneva are similar in style, however sensitive to Cistercian influences. Of the churches Cistercian fate in Swiss territory remain those of Bonmont, Hauterive, Kappel and Wettingen, while the facade of the cathedral of Basel (sec. XIII-XIV) reflects French late Gothic ways. Remarkable the group of churches of the sec. XIII-XIV of very austere style, erected by the Franciscans and Dominicans, while masterpieces of the late Gothic, lasted until the century. XVI, are the church of St. Oswald in Zug (15th century), the Wasserkirche in Zurich (15th century) and the church of San Leonardo in Basel (1490), the latter in Hallenkirche. Also from the Gothic period are numerous castles (Thun, Chillon, Neuchâtel, Aigle), urban fortification works, the municipal buildings of Basel, Bern and Friborg and the famous wooden bridges (Lucerne). Gothic sculpture developed notable decorative complexes in the cathedrals of Lausanne, Basel and Friborg, while a vast wooden production continued, which had its most important center in Constance. In the sec. XV-XVI Basel was the most prestigious center, close to the Upper Rhine style. The glass art is of a high standard (Notre-Dame rose window in Lausanne, Königsfelden stained glass windows, Bern cathedral stained glass windows), miniature and goldsmith’s art.

According to globalsciencellc, the pictorial production is vast, especially fresco cycles, in which Konrad Witz, a painter of vigorous realism, excelled, and Hans Fries, already a Renaissance artist. Renaissance architecture, which reflects the characters of the Renaissance Italian, had its first manifestations in the Canton of Ticino at the beginning of the century. XVI (facade of San Lorenzo in Lugano, from 1517; church of San Lorenzo in Locarno, 1528-38), but towards the middle of the century the new style reached Lucerne (Palazzo Ritter, Town Hall) and central Switzerland, where it continued to spread until the first decades of the seventeenth century. In the French cantons, on the other hand, a Gothicizing French Renaissance architecture dominated (Prefecture of Friborg, City Hall of Geneva). The sculpture retained a prevalent decorative character, both of religious buildings (San Lorenzo in Lugano, San Agostino in Friborg, collegiate church of Lucerne) and of bourgeois houses (Palazzo Ritter in Lucerne). Characteristic are the fountains (Bern, Friborg, second half of the 16th century) with mannerist figured columns. B. Luini (frescoes in Santa Maria degli Angeli in Lugano, 1529) in the Canton of Ticino, Holbein the Younger in German-speaking Switzerland. The cycle of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Bellinzona is linked to the ways of Luini, while close to German art are Manuel Nikolaus Deutsch, Urs Graf, Hans Leu and the best Swiss painter of the time, Tobias Stimmer of Schaffhausen. The Baroque it entered Switzerland late, around 1650, and was introduced by masters from southern Germany, mostly from Vorarlberg. The first examples of Baroque constructions are offered by the Jesuit churches in Lucerne (from 1666) and Solothurn (1680-88), while later are the reconstruction of the Romanesque basilica of Muri (1694) in exuberant Baroque forms, the reconstruction of the church of Abbey of San Gallo (1755) and the Cathedral of Saints Bear and Victor in Solothurn (1763-74), close to the classicist ways. Among the major Baroque architects are Franz Beer and Caspar Moosbrugger in the sec. XVII, the Singers and the Purtscherts in the XVIII. The numerous palaces and villas that arose above all in Bern, Basel and Zurich testify to the influence of French models on civil architecture, which is characterized by the rich stucco decorations of the interiors. The sculpture was widespread almost exclusively in the Catholic cantons and had popular characters, similar to the Austrian and Bavarian ones, generally remaining at an artisanal level. The painting is also substantially modest, characterized by fresco decorations of the churches, often due to German or Italian artists.

The greatest Ticino painter of the early seventeenth century was Giovanni Serodine, who can be joined by a series of good portrait painters of the century. XVIII (JE Liotard, A. Graff, and other). The neo-classicism, already announced in the Solothurn Cathedral, developed in the last quarter of the century. XVIII with the Town Hall of Neuchâtel and the Kirschgarten (1777) of Basel. It experienced its greatest development in the first half of the following century, especially by Melchior Berri. The sculptural production was also vast, influenced by Thorwaldsen’s presence in Lucerne (A. Trippel, JJ Pradier). In the sec. XIX the architecture followed, as in the rest of Europe, various eclectic trends, reinforced by the recovery of the local medieval tradition. Among the major architects can be remembered Gottfried Semper, author of Neo-Renaissance buildings, and Ferdinand Stadler, head of the Neo-Gothic movement. The romantic pictorial production is interesting, even if its greatest exponent, Heinrich Füssli, was active in England. In addition to numerous landscape painters (K. Wolf, A. Calame) and history painters, the work of two symbolist painters, Arnold Böcklin and Ferdinand Hodler, who exerted a notable influence on modern Swiss painting, should be remembered. A profoundly renewing personality in the architectural field was, in our century, that of Karl Moser, author of churches (Sant’Antonio in Basel) built with reinforced concrete structures, of remarkable experimental audacity. Secular building has been influenced by the Bauhaus since 1930and the work of the Swiss (but active abroad) Le Corbusier, as well as the architect Hannes Meyer. During the Second World War, the construction contraction favored wooden construction (Gwad complex by Hans Fischli and the single-family houses of Max Bill, Paul Artaria and Ernst Egeler). After the war, with the economic recovery, the functionalist model of Werner M. Moser, Senn and Rudolf Steiger prevailed. In the 1960s, the architectural activity had two different schools as its referents: one led by Atelier 5, close to New Brutalism, the other led by Franz Füeg ​​who is inspired by Mies’ purism. In the seventies the Ticino school was born which paved the way for a critical revision of the architectural language referring to the need for greater historical awareness and a more faithful link with modernist classicism (Luigi Snozzi, Mario Botta, B. Reichlin, F Reinhart). Subsequently, some architects proposed simplified solutions in which the construction elements refer to primitive archetypal forms. Examples are the residential buildings of Michael Alder (Ziefen, 1969-70, and Gempen, 1979) and Ivano Gianola (Novazzano, 1973-74; Castel San Pietro, 1979-80).

Since the 1990s, architects of international caliber such as R. Piano, P. Zumthor and the Swiss Herzog & De Meuron, Mario Botta, from Lugano, have designed many museums in Switzerland and abroad, as well as banks, churches and other buildings. Swiss Cristian Menn is the author of the Charles River Bridge in Boston, while Peter Zumthor designed the Baths of Vals, and Annette Gigin and Mike Guyer the Kirchner Museum in Davos. In the figurative arts there have been various currents close to the various European avant-gardes. It is significant that it was in Zurich, in 1916, that the Dada movement was born thanks to Arp and others. Among the major Swiss artists of the century. 19th and 20th century Albert Anker, Arnold Boecklin, Ferdinand Jodler, Paul Klee should be mentioned, who determined the abstract orientations of a lot of Swiss painting, and the advertising graphic designer Hans Erni, active in a sector that in Switzerland has reached a very high level of quality. Without forgetting the sculptors Alberto Giacometti, Sergio Brignoni, Jean Tinguely author of creative installations with the use of scrap, Bernhard Luginbühl famous for his impressive iron sculptures made with parts of machinery and industrial residues. Furthermore, in the 1950s, Max Bill, creator of metal and Plexiglas structures, developed the style of “concrete art”, which he defined as “the pure expression of measure and harmonic law”, as opposed to abstractionism. In addition, it was also born in Switzerland Meret Oppenheim, famous surrealist, famous for the playful imprint of his works, with an absurd and gay character that characterizes part of contemporary Swiss art. An example is Cow Parade, an exhibition born in 1998 from an idea of ​​the Swiss sculptor P. Knapp and composed of dozens of colored fiberglass cows exhibited in the shopping center in Zurich; given its enormous success, the exhibition was subsequently emulated in other cities of the world, such as Chicago, New York, London, Sydney and Florence.

Switzerland Arts