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Cuno Amiet


Amiet spent nearly his entire lifetime surrounded by nature among the hills at Oschwand - a little hamlet where he lived and worked. Rural remoteness and untouched landscapes represented a rich source of inspiration for the artist. Hence, Amiet dedicated a great deal of commitment to landscape painting within his artistic oeuvre. Besides detailed depictions of nature with garden scenes or lone trees and blooming flowers, Amiet’s gaze is also fascinated by the wide countryside.

Cuno Amiet «Bäume in der Wintersonne», 1910, WVZ-Nr.: 1910.41, Privatsammlung Schweiz, © D. Thalmann, Aarau

Cuno Amiet «Sonnenuntergang», um 1950, WVZ-Nr.: 1950.13, Privatsammlung Schweiz, © D. Thalmann, Aarau


Cuno Amiet «Winterlandschaft (rot)», 1928, WVZ-Nr. 1928.07, Privatsammlung Schweiz, © D. Thalmann, Aarau

Within his landscape paintings, Amiet interprets what he perceives with his own particular artistic imprint. By painting forests, meadows, fields and waters, the artist depicts the physiognomy of his mostly well-known surroundings. As well urban landscapes are part of his paintings. For the artist, the landscape does not merely constitute a secondary background for a dominant foreground scene – on the contrary, the landscape itself is the main subject of his paintings. Amiet often considered painted nature as an individual projection space, in which the artist does not seeks any realistic depiction of nature, but rather applies his personal perception of colour to create an aesthetic of intense colour luminosity. In some of his paintings, Amiet captures atmospheric phenomena of the sky such as sunsets and evening dusks and creates almost mystical light and colour moods. 

Cuno Amiet «Landschaft mit rosa Wolke», around 1896, private collection Switzerland, © D. Thalmann, Aarau

In his landscape paintings Cuno Amiet experiments with various forms and degrees of abstraction. Some of Amiet’s paintings are laid up in powerful colour fields, the artist constructs his sceneries by applying vivid brush strokes on the canvas. In some of his artworks, for instance Landschaft mit rosa Wolke (landscape with pink cloud), Amiet composes a landscape by piling up horizontal colour fields. Schneeschmelze (snowmelt), a canvas painted in 1904, demonstrates how deliberately Amiet experimented with the process of abstraction- nevertheless, he remains committed to the subject. In Other paintings, tree branches form curved lines, which vividly divide the image into sections.

Thus, the genre of landscape painting shows the essential function of composition of line, surface and color distribution in Amiet's oeuvre.

Cuno Amiet «Schneeschmelze», 1904, WVZ-Nr.: 1904.22, private collection Switzerland, © D. Thalmann, Aarau