Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Ernest Biéler at Kunstmuseum Bern

by Suzanne on July 24th, 2011


Les Feuilles mortes (detail) by Ernest Biéler, oil on canvas, 149.7 x 481.5 cm, 1899, courtesy Kunstmuseum Bern - click to enlarge

A beautiful and very comprehensive retrospective at Kunstmuseum Bern is currently honouring one of the great - and often forgotten - Swiss symbolist and Art Nouveau painters: The enigmatic and empathetic Ernest Biéler.

In the very centre of Dreamt Reality (Geträumte Wirklichkeit / Réalité rêvée) stand the two gorgeously esoteric Biéler works that the Kunstmuseum Bern owns (the rest of the works coming mostly from private collectors): Les Feuilles mortes (1899, top and below) and Les Sources (1900, middle and bottom).


Les Feuilles mortes by Ernest Biéler, oil on canvas, 149.7 x 481.5 cm, 1899, courtesy Kunstmuseum Bern - click to enlarge (FUCKING DO IT!)

Born in 1863 - and therefore a contemporary of famed Swiss Nabis artist Félix Vallotton - Biéler grew up in Lausanne and later studied art in Paris. Shortly before the turn of the century, he returned to Switzerland, impoverished but vastly experienced, first working from his studio in Geneva, then helping the great Ferdinand Hodler with his frescos for the Landesausstellung and finally - getting ever more artistic inspiration from the stunning Savièse region - he decided to settle in the Valais region.


Les Sources (detail) by Ernest Biéler, oil on canvas, 172 x 486 cm, 1900, courtesy Kunstmuseum Bern - click to enlarge

He wasn't the only artist enamored with the Savièse and together with Raphaël Ritz and Edouard Vallet founded the Ecole of Savièse.

Dreamt Reality opened earlier this month and will remain on show until mid-November. Details below.


Les Sources by Ernest Biéler, oil on canvas, 172 x 486 cm, 1900, courtesy Kunstmuseum Bern - click to enlarge (FUCKING DO IT!)

On show: Jul 8 - Nov 13, 2011

Address: Kunstmuseum Bern, Hodlerstrasse 8-12, 3000 Bern 7, Switzerland , tel: +41 31 328 09 44, email: info@kunstmuseumbern.ch | Map

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 10 AM - 5 PM, Tue: 10 AM - 9 PM

Admission: CHF 18

Press release | Exhibition guide

Catalogue: Ernest Biéler. Geträumte Wirklichkeit / Réalité rêvée. Hrsg. Kunstmuseum Bern / Matthias Frehner, Ethel Mathier & Fondation Pierre Gianadda (in German / French)

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