I have to say I’m very impressed with how the Hermitage Foundation in Lausanne always manages in its exhibitions to include a favourite painting of mine, discovered during my five-year stay as an expat in Hampstead, London. It’s as if they’re reading my mind and I’ll have to tell them how much I appreciate it on my next visit, which is never very long after my last one because their exhibitions consistently distinguish themselves by their quality and diversity.
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”.
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.
I know it’s a little late in the game to be telling you about the outdoor photography exhibition called Festival Images Vevey that since the 8th of this month has taken over the parks, buildings, streets (and even a portion of Lac Leman) of this picturesque city, but with six days still to go before the curtain drops on this biennial event, there’s still time to experience it.
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.