A visit to the Romont Vitromusée has all the elements of a perfect day trip: a singular collection found in an historic setting that’s accessible via direct rail links running through a stunning, pastoral landscape. From Medieval to Contemporary times The Romont Vitromusée of Stained Glass and Reverse Painting on Glass exhibits some of Switzerland’s most historically significant and visually stunning glass objects in a 13th-century timber-beamed castle that sits amidst a medieval hilltop village, making a visit there more than just another day at the museum.
Just as the season for languid, lazy moments has arrived in the Swiss Romandy comes a new exhibition at the Hermitage Foundation in Lausanne that captures the very essence of hot summer days and nights. In Manguin: The voluptuousness of color we see some 100 works — paintings, sketches and watercolors — by the painter Henri Manguin (1874-1949) who indulged his passion for color so ardently the contemporary poet Apollinaire called him the “voluptuous painter”.
To mark its 20th anniversary, the Château de Prangins has opened a major exhibit on the printed cotton material know as chintz. Originating in India, the 17th-century European craze for this fabric and its floral motifs dominated the global economy, society and fashion for 200 years. Celebrating its two decades of existence, the Swiss National Museum at the Château de Prangins has chosen a beauty of a topic, not only for the attractiveness of its main subject but because of its significance for Switzerland, a primary participant and beneficiary of the printed cotton trade that fluorished in the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and latterly in America.
Until 21st of May, the Fondation de l’Hermitage in Lausanne gives us a privileged look at the use of pastels across five centuries of art. Some 150 masterpieces from public and private collections in Switzerland — from early Renaissance masters to contemporary artists — give us a captivating look at this exceptional technique. Sometimes the word “pastel” when used in reference to the color of clothing, decor or makeup can conjure an image of the faded or wishy-washy for me. But seeing the effect of pastels in artworks, such as those now exhibiting in Pastels from 16th – 21st century at the Hermitage in Lausanne, I realize that pastel shades – even in the most subtle rendering — are anything but weak.
Again this Spring the artisans of the Lake Geneva region are throwing open their workshops to welcome the public during the Journées des Métiers d’Art 2018 (JEMA). Here in the Swiss Romandy we go about our daily business often oblivious to the talented craftspeople who keep some of our favorite boutiques, repair shops, opera houses, theatres, museums and so much more, open for business. Their painstaking workmanship is often the result of years of study and apprenticeships to hone skills that have been passed down through many generations.
Last summer I posted about how the Théâtre de Carouge reaches out to Geneva’s international, multilingual audience with innovative new techniques and imaginative special events. Now it’s taking that effort one step further with a special performance entirely in English of a mesmerizing new production that promises to be unlike anything seen in the City of Calvin before — Cold Blood.
It sometimes seems to me that Geneva has more artists per square inch than any other city of comparable size. An event this coming Saturday and Sunday, 14-15 October, only fuels that impression.