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Painting of miners in 19th century dress working on a mountainous landscape with RITZ in gold font diagonally across the front from bottom left

Raphael Ritz

Fabrique d'un Valais éxotique

Edited by Céline Eidenbenz


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  • First new monograph in decades on Swiss genre painter Raphael Ritz (1829–94), who became famous as the “Raphael of the Alps”
  • Explores Ritz’s work in the context of nineteenth-century European art
Full Description

Raphael Ritz (1829–1894) is one of the most important artists to have emerged from the Swiss canton of Valais. In the 1850s, Ritz, who later became famous as the “Raphael of the Alps,” studied at the renowned Academy of Art in Düsseldorf, Germany, and perfected his technique in the genre of mountain painting, which focuses on the relationship between landscape and man. Ritz, who felt a strong connection to his roots, created landscape idylls in faraway Düsseldorf for an audience that appreciated regional peculiarities. At times with a touch of irony, he put his works at the service of a modern effort to illustrate the timeless character of everyday life.

This new monograph looks at the work of the Valais-born artist beyond national borders and frames it in both the Swiss and international artistic contexts of the time. Ritz’s correspondence with his father, Lorenz Justin Ritz, who was a painter as well, is also comprehensively examined for the first time: it constitutes an important testimony to his artistic self-discovery. Selected photographs by Swiss contemporary artists from the museum’s collection show the Valais of today and establish a connection between Ritz’s ethnographic view of his own origins and the present.

Text in French and German.

About the Author

Céline Eidenbenz is director of the Musée d’art du Valais in Sion, Switzerland. She has been curator of the Salon Suisse at the 2019 Biennale Art in Venice.

Scheidegger & Spiess
17th Jan 2022
Paperback / softback
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
300 mm x 210 mm
216 Pages
110 color, 10 b&w
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