Aloise Corbaz

Aloïse Corbaz was born in Lausanne, Switzerland. With a high school diploma in hand, she worked as a dressmaker but dreamed of becoming an opera singer. Later, she occupied a post as a governess in Potsdam at the court of Wilhelm II. She fell in love with the emperor and experienced a passion that was entirely imaginary.The declaration of war forced her to come back in Switzerland. She manifested then exalted religious feelings of such intensity that she was put in the asylum at Cery-sur-Lausanne in 1918, then in the hospital of La Rosière, Gimel-sur-Morges.

Until 1936 she worked in secret, using graphite and ink. She would also use the juice from petals, crushed leaves and toothpaste. The support material for her expression was wrapping paper sewn with thread or alternatively envelopes, bits of cardboard or the backs of calendars. Aloïse was the author of a personal cosmogony inhabited by princely figures and by historical heroines. The theme of a pair of lovers, as well as her passion for theatre and opera, predominates in her work.
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First Collected by

Jeremy Donaldson


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art brut drawing 1940s painting