One of the highlights of our excursion to Switzerland was our visit to the Fondation Beyeler and the recent exhibit of the Master painter Gustave Courbet . Since its inception in 1997, the museum of the Foundation Beyeler in Richen Basel has assembled a vast collection of some of the finest art work from the aesthetic art collectors, Ernst and Hildy Beyeler.
Visiting this auspicious space that has housed some of the world’s greatest art pieces, we felt honored to embark on Fondation Beyeler which has displayed a vast array of the Beyelers’s art collections and special exhibitions throughout the years. The building designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano is the perfect showcase for the extensive art collections and we were privileged to embark upon this lovely artistic journey.
We were fortunate to be greeted this rainy Sunday by our guide who personally escorted and educated us on the art of French master Gustave Courbet who is also known as the father of landscape abstraction. The museum creates an assemblage between the natural world and the created world. With a synergistic blend between nature, art and architecture, the museum gives the viewers an unforgettable experience of seeing some of the World’s greatest art collections. With remote controlled windows that move up and down regulating the amount of light that streams through the expansive windows, every picture is preserved as a precious gift for future art aficionados.
We relished the history and the complexities of Master Courbet’s work as we leisurely followed our guide throughout the museum. After our eyes were filled with Courbet’s masterful pieces, we left the museum to walk the beautiful grounds. The grounds are an art work in their own right with vineyards gently sloping down to the Rhine River just 100 yards away. We enjoyed the large sculptures of Ellsworth Kelly’s White Curves, and Alexander Calder’s The Tree. These amazing instillations grace the verdant English style landscape naturally complementing the lovely foliage and ponds of this estate.
Walking through the winding pathway, we came upon the old manor house which now serves as a lovely restaurant for hungry patrons and by this time we were one of them.
Lunch was a tasty combination of Swiss favorites including veal with a crisp white locally grown and produced wine. With our eyes and stomach’s filled with beautiful food and art we bid our docent adieu and headed to the tram to our next museum located in Germany.
Being the most visited museum in the country Fondation Beyeler is a must stop on your itinerary. For more information please visit http://www.fondationbeyeler.ch/