Rudolf Koller · Graphite Animals

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)
2 min readMay 22, 2022
Rudolf Koller · Graphite Animals

Rudolf Koller · Graphite Animals

From 20 May to 14 August 2022, the Kunsthaus Zürich is presenting the largest exhibition to date of sketchbooks by the Swiss artist Rudolf Koller (1828–1905).

Source: Kunsthaus Zürich · Image: Rudolf Koller, Study for ‘Idyll at Hasliberg‘. In: Sketchbook P 28, fol. 4, before 1864. Graphite pencil on paper, 28.2 x 21.8 cm. Kunsthaus Zürich, 1905

The Swiss painter Rudolf Koller (1828–1905) belonged to a generation of European artists who moved between Romanticism, whose flame was beginning to die out, and the emerging Realism. Famous for his paintings of animals, his “Gotthardpost” (1873, Kunsthaus Zürich) is considered one of the masterpieces of 19th-century Swiss art.

During his lifetime, Rudolf Koller created 85 sketchbooks, 67 of which are in the collections of the Kunsthaus Zürich. Now, following the digitisation of nearly 3,600 sketches contained in these sketchbooks, the Kunsthaus presents “Rudolf Koller: The Sketchbooks”, the largest exhibition to date of the artist’s sketchbooks.

In a press release, the museum explains that the exhibition “reveals a vast cosmos of sketches that could scarcely be more varied, ranging from playful finger exercises to detailed, pictorially executed drawings. This comprehensive show marks the conclusion and culmination of a multi-year restoration and digitization project which allows the books to presented in a fresh new way. It includes the most significant sketchbooks, complemented by masterfully executed sheets that were removed from the books at an earlier stage. The sketchbooks are also shown in dialogue with Koller’s oil studies for works such as the ‘Gotthard Post’, allowing viewers to retrace directly the individual stages in the painting’s development. The exhibition showcases the many and varied techniques employed in Koller’s sketchbooks, from graphite, pen and charcoal to pastel.” #2022 #theartwolf #Zurich

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ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

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