LAUSANNE.- The Fondation de lHermitage
is devoting its major summer exhibition to one of Europes most prestigious private collections : the Hahnloser Collection.
Built up by Arthur Hahnloser (1870-1936) and his wife Hedy Hahnloser-Bühler (1873-1952) between 1905 and 1936 in Winterthur, the collection is exceptional in more ways than one. It is the fruit of the couples encounters and friendship with many artists including Ferdinand Hodler, Giovanni Giacometti, Félix Vallotton and Pierre Bonnard who introduced them to the Parisian artistic scene and advised them on their choice of purchases.
Most of the works in the collection were bought directly from the artists studios or the great Parisian art dealers such as Bernheim-Jeune, Ambroise Vollard or Eugène Druet. The close links the Hahnlosers established with artistic circles were also strengthened by the artists regular stays at the Villa Flora, the collectors house in Winterthur, or at their winter residence in Cannes. Several works still bear witness today to the moments of warm friendship shared with Vallotton, Manguin, Vuillard or Bonnard. After Arthurs death in 1936 and Hedys in 1952, their heirs created the Hahnloser/Jaeggli Foundation. Under its impetus, the Villa Flora built in 1858 and modified and extended several times to house the collection was opened to the public in 1995.
The exhibition features the masterpieces from the Villa Flora presented exclusively in Lausanne with other treasures that were originally in the Hahnloser collection and are now in public museums or in private hands. The show will thus be bringing together more than 150 emblematic works from the late 19th and the early 20th century. Opening with fine ensembles of paintings by the first artists collected by the Hahnlosers, Hodler and Giovanni Giacometti, and a magnificent selection of works by the Symbolist Odilon Redon, the exhibition also pays tribute to New Painting with major canvases by Cézanne, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh or Toulouse-Lautrec. Alongside Bonnard, who was a dear friend of the collectors, Vallotton is the highlight of the Collection, which focuses essentially on the Nabis group and also includes works by Vuillard, Denis and Maillol. A significant selection of drawings and prints reveals the extraordinary graphic creativity of these artists with whom the Hahnlosers had a very special relationship. Fauvism is also well represented with paintings by Matisse, Marquet and Manguin, in addition to a remarkable ensemble of works by Rouault.