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Hundreds of Hodler works promised to museum

"Etude pour Floraison" Musée Jenisch Vevey, collection Rudolf Schindler

A museum in the town of Vevey in western Switzerland will receive over 600 works of art by the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler – thanks to the will of painter and curator Rudolf Schindler. It will make the Musée Jenisch a centre of Hodler’s graphical works.

Bern-based artist Schindler started his collection in 1956, after he visited an exhibition of Hodler’s work. He purchased the majority of his sketches and drawings from the Swiss artist’s widow, Berthe Hodler.

Between 1999 and 2002 Schindler entrusted the then-director of the Musée Jenisch with three items from his collection. He recently gave the museum more than 560 other Hodler creations.

The collector, who just turned 100 years old, promised the portfolio of work to the museum as a legacy after the end of his life.

Among the total of 630 works are around 30 paintings and numerous drawings.

No information has been given about the value of the collection, although the museum’s current director, Julie Enckell Julliard, said that a painting would be worth around CHF4-5 million ($4.5-5.6 million) and a drawing CHF5,000-100,000.

Hodler had a strong connection with the region around Vevey. He painted a number of views of Lake Geneva from the nearby village of Chexbres and often went to Vevey to visit his beloved mistress, Valentine Godé-Darel.

A plaster cast of Godé-Darel’s head is included in the bequest.

The works will now be documented, analysed and an inventory drawn up. The museum has plans to show off the new items in an exhibition in summer 2015.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR