Last updated
July 16, 2020
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Since 1982, the Swiss National Library (NL) has been home to the Gugelmann Collection, a large group of works by the Schweizer Kleinmeister - Swiss 18th century masters - assembled by Annemarie Gugelmann and her brother Rudolf. It is one of the most valuable donations the NL has ever received. With the rise of the classic "grand tour" among the European nobility in the 17th century and - mainly from the mid-18th century onwards - the upper middle classes, the Schweizer Kleinmeister began producing drawings, watercolours and oil paintings that captured Swiss landscapes and characteristic genre scenes. The work of the Schweizer Kleinmeister from the mid-18th to mid-19th century offers a rich insight into the landscape and culture of Switzerland at the time. It is therefore of continuing relevance today, both for art and cultural history and for the natural sciences. As those artworks were sold to travellers passing through Switzerland, their dissemination throughout Europe shaped the typical image of Switzerland that abides to this day. The original Gugelmann Collection comprised some 1,600 individual prints, 130 albums and series of plates, over 130 books with original prints and a small number of oil paintings of select quality that ideally complemented the NL's own holdings. This unique collection is continually being expanded with significant new acquisitions, and constitutes the essential core of Swiss iconography. The Gugelmann Collection has been catalogued in the HelveticArchives database. Pictures in high-resolution are available on Wikimedia Commons.


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January 6, 2016
Modified date
July 16, 2020
Schweizerische Nationalbibliothek NB
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