Cuno Amiet

Switzerland / 1868 - 1961 / wikipedia /
Swiss painter and sculptor; one of the leading pioneers of Post-Impressionism in Switzerland. Born in Solothurn. Received his first lessons in painting from Buchser, then studied 1886-8 at the Munich Academy. Met Giovanni Giacometti and went with him to Paris to study at the Académie Julian 1888-91; influenced by Manet. In Paris again 1892 was influenced by the work of Hodler,... began to simplify his drawing and use pure colours. Returned to Switzerland in 1893, living first at Basle, then Solothurn. First one-man exhibition with Hodler and Giovanni Giacometti at the Kunstlerhaus, Zurich, 1898. Settled in 1898 at Oschwand in the Bernese countryside... Fifty of his most important paintings were destroyed in a fire in the Munich Glaspalast in 1931. He died in 1961 in Oschwand.

Cuno Amiet (28 March 1868 – 6 July 1961) was a Swiss painter, illustrator, graphic artist and sculptor. As the first Swiss painter to give precedence to colour in composition, he was a pioneer of modern art in Switzerland.

... created more than 4000 paintings, of which more than 1000 are self-portraits. The great scope of his work of 70 years, and Amiet's predilection for experimentation, make his œuvre appear disparate at first – a constant, though, is the primacy of colour. ... Ferdinand Hodler remained a constant point of reference, although Amiet's artistic intentions diverged ever further from those of Hodler, whom Amiet could and would not match in his mastery of monumental scale and form.

While Amiet took up themes of expressionism, his works retain a sense of harmony of colour grounded in the French tradition. He continued to pursue mainly decorative intentions at the beginning of the 20th century, but his late work of the 1940s and 50s is focused on more abstract concepts of space and light, characterised by dots of colour and a pastel brilliance.
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