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Ernest Biéler

Rolle, 1863 — 1948

The Swiss painter and illustrator Ernest Biéler (31.7.1863, Rolle - 25.6.1948, Lausanne) moved to Paris at the age of 17, where he studied at the Académie Julian and the Académie Suisse. He financed his education by illustrating novels by contemporary authors such as Émile Zola.
In 1889 Biéler settled in Savièse above Sion. Together with other local artists, he founded the so-called "School of Savièse", which depicted Valaisan landscapes and their inhabitants in a particularly decorative and linear style. He was awarded a silver medal at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 and in the same year was accepted into the Legion of Honour. In 1903 he was a co-founder of the Société des Traditions Valaisannes, which was committed to the preservation of cultural traditions in the Valais.
Initially influenced by Impressionism, Biéler later turned to Art Nouveau and developed an independent, innovative painting style, for which he received numerous public commissions for frescoes, stained glass, and mosaics, including at the Bundeshaus Bern.


Exhibitions (Selection)

2011 Geträumte Wirklichkeit. Réalité rêvée, Kunstmuseum Bern; Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny
2005 Musée de l'Evêché, Sion
1999 Du réalisme à l’Art nouveau. Vom Realismus zum Jugendstil, Lausanne, Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne; Kunstmuseum Solothurn
1938 Kunsthalle Bern
1912 Musée Arlaud, Lausanne

Literature (Selection)

Ernest Biéler (1863-1948). Geträumte Wirklichkeit. Réalité rêvée, exhib. cat. Kunstmuseum Bern; Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, Berne/Martigny 2011.
Ernest Biéler (1863-1948). Du réalisme à l’Art nouveau. Vom Realismus zum Jugendstil, exhib. cat. Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne; Kunstmuseum Solothurn, Milano 1999.
Maurice Jean-Petit-Matile, Ernest Biéler, Lutry 1976.