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The Hermitage Foundation starts 2019 at the top with its exhibition “British Painting from Turner to Whistler”

Hermitage Lausanne exhibition British

George William Joy, The Bayswater Omnibus, 1895, oil on canvas, 120,6×172,5 cm, Museum of London, ©George William Joy / Museum of London.


One of many highlights during my six-year stay in London had to be the proximity of prestigious art museums where the cream of 19th-century British art held pride of place.

In particular I enjoyed visiting the Tate Britain on Millbank, which houses the nation’s Turner Collection in addition to beloved works by the Pre-Raphaelites and remarkable portraits by the American painters John Singer Sargent and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

So it’s a huge pleasure to learn that the Hermitage Foundation in Lausanne will continue its run of outstanding art exhibitions with the opening on February 1st of “British Painting from Turner to Whistler”.


First time in Switzerland
Hermitage Lausanne British Collinson

James Collinson, At the Bazaar, 1857, oil on panel, 60,6×45,7cm, Sheffield Museum, Graves Gift 1929, ©Sheffield Museum.


The exhibition will introduce some 60 British artworks to Switzerland for the very first time and give an unparalleled look at the art produced during this golden age of the British Empire, while focusing on its mesmerizing originality.

In addition to works by Turner, whose technique led the way for Impressionism, the collection will include pieces by other artists who also won fame through landscape painting, including Atkinson Grimshaw and Baker Pyne.

The exhibit will also place onus on paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood including ones by John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti as well as by artists of the Aesthetic Movement (Edward Burne-Jones and Lawrence Alma-Tadema). Both groups found inspiration in literature, mythology and antiquity.


Art that reflects changing times
Hermitage foundation Emslie

Alfred Edward Emslie, Bending Sail after a Gale, 1881, oil on canvas, 68x102cm, Private Collection, ©photo TDR.


Some images, while beautiful in appearance, can nevertheless depict tumultuous times in the life of the nation and its citizens. The industrial revolution and rapid development of cities and public transport became a source of inspiration for compelling artworks that brought to life different facets of modern life and the social repercussions that sprang from them.

I’m looking forward to taking in the work of Sargent and Whistler, who were the most celebrated portrait painters of their era. They depicted the cream of high society at the time, inciting both admiration and scandal, but also didn’t shy away from more challenging social topics.


Contemporary photographs complete the picture
Hermitage exhibit Millais

John Everett Millais, The Eve of Saint Agnes, 1863, oil on canvas, 117,8 x 154,3cm, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, ©Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

A collection of photogravures will complement the paintings in the exhibition, showcasing the great names in British photography: Julia Margaret Cameron and Henry Fox Talbot, to name a few.

A series of photographs of Jane Morris, muse to the Pre-Raphaelites, will give visitors an opportunity to judge for themselves how well those artists succeeded in capturing her remarkable beauty.

This exhibition will undoubtedly prove to be a sure-fire hit and hopefully signposts more outstanding exhibitions to follow this year. If this genre of painting appeals to you, make a point of seeing it and afterwards, please let me know if you enjoyed your visit to the Hermitage and why. I’d love to know if you share my enthusiasm for these painters and their artworks. 



Detail of a work by Frederick Sandys, Vivien. Graphics: Laurent Cocchi.

British Painting from Turner to Whistler
1 February to 2 June 2019
Hermitage Foundation
2, rte du Signal,
CH-1000 Lausanne 8
T. +41 (0)21 320 50 01
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Switzerland’s Loveliest Cafés and Tea Rooms, Swiss Heritage 2nd edition

Kiosque St Francois in Lausanne.


If coffee or tea and architecture are amongst your passions, then search out the best spots in the country to enjoy them using as your guide the revised, 2nd edition of the Swiss Heritage booklet “The most beautiful cafés and tea rooms in Switzerland”.

While the country cannot boast a coffee culture as rich as that of Vienna, Budapest or Buenos Aires, there’s still a surprising number and variety of spots where you can indulge yourself. This booklet introduces you to 50 of the best locales nation-wide. Read More

Look up and let the Geneva Lux Festival bring sparkle to your Christmas night

“Grapp’Lum”, created by Erik Barray, at Rond-Point de Plainpalais. Photo: Rémy Gindroz.

When it comes to celebrating the season of lights in style, the City of Geneva doesn’t let any other city outshine its sparkle. This year for the Geneva Lux Festival 2018 it’s increasing the number of inspiring electical installations to an impressive 25, six more than last year. Read More

Actor Geneva Holloman: drawing on life experience to portray Holly Golightly in the GEDS production of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Geneva Holloman as Holly Golightly and Casper Edmonds as Fred star in Larry Wagner’s production of the Truman Capote novella.

The Geneva English Drama Society (GEDS) brings Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to the Théâtre de Terre-Sainte in Coppet from 20-24th November. In the role of Holly Golightly actor Geneva Holloman brings the necessary training with a degree in theatre arts and success in an award-winning acting ensemble. But it may be what she calls “the hardest year of my life” that most informs her portrayal of New York’s most famous High Society wannabe.

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Christa de Carouge: a new exhibition at the Musée de Carouge celebrates the life of a beloved fashion designer

A moving and thoughtful exhibition honoring the fashion designer Christa de Carouge continues until 16 December at the Musée de Carouge. Photo: ©

Christa de Carouge, “the lady in black”, left a lasting impression on Swiss fashion and made the Geneva suburb of Carouge, whose name she adopted, famous well beyond its borders. Her multifunctional clothes made with graphic designs in luxurious and innovative fabrics bestowed upon those who wore them elegance, freedom and comfort.

Celebrated for her professional skills and loved for her personal warmth and humanity, after her sudden death last January the Musée de Carouge decided to recognize her creativity and generosity and to express the gratitude of the city she loved so much with a comprehensive new exhibition. Read More

Creative Journeys: Q&A with singer-songwriter-musician Matt Mathews

Matt Mathews, photographed by Katarina Boselli.

Geneva-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matt Mathews has played on stage and in clubs across Switzerland and Europe with the groups “Exphase” and “The Exciters”. His first solo album “Promised Land”, released in May 2016, received extensive air play on Radio Swiss Pop, Rete3, Radio Chablais, TVM3 and Leman Bleu.

Matt’s new 4-track EP will arrive early in 2019 and he’s booked for a series of live concerts with his band in Carouge through November. His intimate, sensitive lyrics, sung in both English and French, connect with listeners through the memories, feelings and hopes they inspire. In this Q&A he talks about where he finds inspiration and what’s important to him in life.
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