Musee d’art et d’histoire Presents Carlos Schwabe Exhibition

The Musée d’art et d’histoire presents Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926) A Collection of Drawings to (Re)Discover on view through Musée d’art et d’histoire Presents Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926) A Collection of Drawings to (Re)Discover.

Carlos Schwabe, Faune, Musée d’art et d’histoire

A remarkable collection of works by the artist Carlos Schwabe, who enjoyed honours and success at the end of the 19th century, has been built up at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire over a little more than a century. Forty-six drawings and seven paintings provide an overview of his production and illustrate his career path step by step.

The young Carlos Schwabe, freshly graduated from the École des Arts Industriels in Geneva, moved to Paris in 1884. The capital was at that time experiencing the dawning of a significant movement with no geographic or artistic borders, that of Symbolism. Emerging all over Europe, it was present in art, literature, music and poetry. Carlos Schwabe rapidly affiliated himself with its aesthetic and philosophical considerations, becoming one of its apostles.

He exposed his works for the first time in 1891 at the Salon National des Beaux-Arts and designed the poster for the first Salon de la Rose-Croix the following year. He quickly began receiving orders to illustrate publications, an activity to which he would dedicate time and energy all through his career, producing magazine covers, posters, vignettes and panels. One of his first tasks was a prestigious commission from Émile Zola and Camille Flammarion for the first illustrated edition of The Dream, the sixteenth volume of the Rougon-Macquart series.

Years of intensive artistic production were to follow, rewarded by generous public recognition. However, the dawn of the new century spawned a number of questionings and uncertainties. The decline of Symbolism was imminent and his Dreyfusard convictions led to the loss of some of his most important friends and patrons. After a period of discouragement, he again took up pencil and brush to give birth to new illustrations for poetry editions and novels as well as some of his major works, including La Vague (The Wave) and Le Faune (The Faun).

Carlos Schwabe (1866-1926) • A Collection of Drawings to (Re)Discover underscores the artist’s graphic production – sketches, illustration projects and singular works – while books from the Bibliothèque d’Archéologie and the Bibliothèque de Genève complete the display. – www.ville-ge.ch

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