Ever since its foundation in 1787 one of the main goals of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft has been to promote local art. The resurgence of intellectual life experienced by the protestant city of Zurich in the 18th century opened up new vistas for the visual arts in the city: Salomon Gessner’s Idyllen and Johann Heinrich Fuseli’s eccentric classicism both found a resonance throughout Europe. In the mid 19th century it was the turn of international realism to make its mark on Switzerland both in terms of character and quality; the most important representative of this generation, Arnold Böcklin, was also one of the precursors of Symbolism. But it is the turn of the century that sees the highpoint of both Swiss painting and the Kunsthaus collection, represented by figures such as Ferdinand Hodler, Segantini, Vallotton, Amiet, Giovanni and Augusto Giacometti. In addition Zurich Concrete Art, with its strong leaning towards the systematic and abstract, long occupied a dominant position amongst the rich production of the 20th century.