The Valley of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, John Ruskin,
Lake Geneva as seen from Chexbres by Ferdinand Hodler, 1905
Public domain via Kunstmuseum Basel
Blue Night, Paul Klee, 1937
Public domain via Kunstmuseum Basel
Explore a wealth of artistic treasures within Switzerland’s stunning natural and urban environments, including works by Klee and Picasso
Visit internationally important museums of fine art, including the Kunstmuseum in Basel
Be immersed in the beauty of the Swiss landscape, from Lake Lucerne to the charming mountain village of Grindelwald
“Amazing experience in a beautiful country. This was my first tour with ACE and it exceeded all expectations”
- ACE customer on the 2023 Art & Landscape in Switzerland tour
The landscapes of Switzerland – its lakes, Alpine peaks and elegant cityscapes – have long captured the imaginations of travellers and artists, and today, the country is home to some of the world’s finest collections of art. This tour explores art within Switzerland’s beautiful surroundings, investigating how these twin themes are profoundly intertwined, and will take as a particular focus the art of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Swiss capital, Bern, will be our base. Mountains watch over the medieval architecture of its UNESCO-listed old town, complete with Gothic-style Minster and 13th century Clock Tower. The city’s Kunstmuseum is the repository for an important collection of art dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries, including pieces by Monet, Picasso and Klee, as well as the famed 19th century Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler.
The Victorian critic, patron and artist John Ruskin observed the Alpine landscape as it changed over the course of 40 years, and his preoccupation with the poetic qualities and environmental importance of Switzerland’s natural landscape still resonates today. We will consider these questions as we travel by train, taking in views of mountains, vineyards and Lake Geneva, and by boat as we cruise around Lake Lucerne.
The picturesque city of Lucerne presents layers of Swiss elegance: the medieval old town, eponymous lake and dramatic mountainous backdrop combine to provide a fitting home for another significant art collection. The Rosengart Collection was amassed by Swiss art dealer Siegfried Rosengart and his daughter Angela, a close friend of Picasso, and is now on public display. Featuring modern art by the likes of Bonnard, Braque, Picasso, Kandinsky and Klee, to name but a few, the collection attests to the passion, taste and generosity of its founders.
The most important global collection of works by Klee is to be found in a museum dedicated to the artist in Bern. The displays are constantly rotated, not only due to the size and nature of the gallery’s holdings, but also in order to provide new and sometimes unexpected perspectives on Klee’s work.
Basel, a historically important city on the Rhine, is renowned for its iconic architecture, world-famous ART Basel festival and wealth of galleries and art museums. Here, we will visit the impressive Kunstmuseum, Switzerland’s largest public art collection. The museum has its roots in the Amerbach Cabinet, amassed by Hans Holbein and later purchased in 1661 by the city of Basel and the University of Basel, making it the world’s first public art museum. Featuring paintings from the Renaissance as well as the Dutch and Flemish schools of the 17th century, it is also particularly rich in 19th and 20th century art, including pieces by the Impressionists and Expressionists.
Basel is moreover home to a museum dedicated to the work of Swiss painter and sculptor Jean Tinguely. Here, a number of Tinguely’s kinetic art sculptures are contextualised alongside illustrations and documentation shedding light on the fascinating life and career of this important 20th century artist.
Our tour also includes an opportunity to become truly immersed in the Swiss landscape with an excursion by train to the picturesque mountain village of Grindelwald at the base of the Eiger and Jungfrau. Travelling via Interlaken, we will enjoy the spectacular scenery along the edge of the lake before journeying up through the mountains to Grindelwald, which Turner visited on his first tour in 1802, and where artists and writers have flocked ever since.
We will stay throughout at the four-star Best Western Plus Hotel Bern, located in the centre of the old town.
This tour will be led by Suzanne Fagence Cooper, MA, PhD, an Arts Society accredited lecturer, historian and curator who specialises in 19th and 20th century art. A Research Curator at York Art Gallery, Suzanne was previously a curator and Research Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, during which time she collaborated with many of Britain’s regional museum collections. Her work has focused on Ruskin’s observations of the changing Alpine landscape; she curated the 2019 exhibition Turner, Ruskin & the Storm Cloud at York Art Gallery, and is the author of To See Clearly: Why Ruskin Matters (2019). Suzanne looks forward to introducing another group to Switzerland’s remarkable landscape and art collections in 2024.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a double bedded room, five breakfasts, four dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.
Not Included: travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £375.