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A new image

In 1895, following a national competition, Altdorf, the main town of canton Uri, acquired a monument dedicated to its hero. The winning project from 30 entries was submitted by Richard Kissling (1848-1919).

Kissling produced a detailed image of Tell, which casts him as a peasant and man of the mountains, with strong features and muscular limbs. His powerful hand rests lovingly on the shoulder of little Walter. Kissling did not try to represent the pierced apple, which would have detracted from the solemnity of the composition.

Kissling would eventually be commissioned to provide monuments for dozens of towns across Switzerland. His bronzes gave the Swiss a tangible image of the figures from their national history, in the days before mass media.

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