Jakob Christoph Miville

Little-known Swiss painter with broad horizon


View of Basel and the Rhine valley from the quarry in Muttenz, 1807/1809, oil on canvas

(Kunstmuseum Basel)

Landscape near Tavastehus (Hämeenlinna), Finland, 1811, watercolour over pencil on paper

(Foundation for Art of the 19th Century, Olten)

Khan's palace in Bakhchisaray (Crimea, Ukraine), 1816–1819, oil on canvas

(St. Petersburg, National Pushkin Museum)

Pair of trees with figure, 1805–1807, watercolour over pencil on paper

(Private collection, Basel)

Coast at Liepãja, Latvia, 1810, watercolour over pencil on paper

(Private collection, Basel)

View from Miville's window of an Orthodox church in Moscow, 1809 or 1814, watercolour over pencil on paper

(Foundation for Art of the 19th Century, Olten)

Italian peasant or shepherd in traditional costume, three-quarter profile, 1819–1821, pencil on paper

(Kunstmuseum Basel)

Open stable in southern Russia, 1814 wash pencil drawing on paper

(Kunstmuseum Basel)

Italian landscape, ca 1822, oil on canvas

(Kunstmuseum Basel)

Valley of the Hinterrhein, canton Graubünden, 1807/1808, oil on canvas

(Privately owned, Riehen)

The river Neva near St Petersburg, 1810–1816, brush in black and grey over pencil on paper

(Privately owned, Switzerland)

Kiz-Kermen or Tepe-Kermen near Chufut-Kale, Crimea, Ukraine, 1816–1819, oil on canvas

(St Petersburg, Russian State Museum)

Ruins of the Aqua Claudia at Tivoli, Italy, at sunset, 1805–1807, pen and wash over pencil, on paper

(Kunstmuseum Basel)

Self portrait, 1821, oil on canvas

(Kunstmuseum Basel)




The Basel Art Museum (Kunstmuseum Basel) has devoted a major exhibition to the almost forgotten Basel painter Jakob Christoph Miville (1786-1836).

Mivillle painted mainly landscapes. But he did not restrict himself to the peaks, valleys and waterfalls of the Swiss Alps. He also went to Italy, where he learned to draw from nature.

Failing to find success as an artist, in 1809 he went to Russia to seek his fortune. He found work as a surveyor and teacher of drawing, and travelled through northern Russia, the Caucasus and the Crimea. He produced countless drawings and watercolours during his journeys through the Russian countryside.

Miville spent his whole life trying to win recognition as a painter.The Basel exhibition features about 250 of his works. It is the first time that his drawings and paintings have been brought together from both Swiss and Russian collections.

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