From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Swiss art is visual art from Switzerland. it is best-known for the Dada movement which originated in neutral Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I. Notable modern and contemporary Swiss artists include Paul Klee, Alberto Giacometti, Félix Vallotton, Ferdinand Hodler, Max Bill, Jean Tinguely, Daniel Spoerri and Thomas Hirschhorn. Precursors to modern art include Arnold Böcklin.
In the 16th century Protestantism had a strong influence on visual arts in Switzerland. Samuel Hieronymus Grimm was a well known 18th century watercolourist and ink wash artist, although he created much of his note while working in England. There was almost no influence from Italian or French Renaissance.
Swiss modern art
Chiefly in modern times did Swiss artists begin to emerge internationally. Alberto Giacometti is said to have derived much of his inspiration from the Etruscans, but became internationally known. Jean Tinguely fascinated people from all over the world with complex moving sculptures constructed entirely from scrap materials. Paul Klee is sometimes regarded as Switzerland's most original and impressive painter.
Despite the relatively small number of internationally famous artists, there are considerable art collections in renowned museums around Switzerland. These are not only found in the cities of Zürich, Basel and Geneva but also in smaller towns such as Schaffhausen, Martigny and Winterthur. The museums in the smaller towns pride themselves for their contribution to the arts, which exceed what is commonly found in provincial areas.
Graphic arts flourish in Switzerland, as does creative photography. Examples of this can be found on calendars, magazines and outdoor billboard advertisements.
- See also: Swiss Style