The exhibition is conceived as a survey, focusing on the highly productive period before the First World War. Over 200 works with sculptures and paintings and decorative objects. Paintings by contemporaries such as Gauguin, Denis and Vuillard.

From painter to sculptor


CHF 18.–/14.– (concessions and groups) inclusive Collection. Free admission for members, children and young people under the age of 17.

Note for groups

We look forward to welcoming you to the Kunsthaus. For organizational reasons, prior registration is required., +41 44 253 84 84


Aristide Maillol (1861–1944) is the most important French sculptor of the early modern era after Auguste Rodin. A major and influential figure who is both modern and timeless, Maillol created sensual art that embodies the values of clarity and balance of forms, making him a consummate artist of the classical tradition.

The exhibition brings together over 200 works, with both sculptures – including all the artist’s key works – and paintings: Maillol began his career as a painter, producing canvases of great quality that are still little known outside France. Also on display are decorative objects, tapestries designed by Maillol, and enchanting drawings. The presentation additionally incorporates paintings by contemporaries such as Paul Gauguin, Maurice Denis and Édouard Vuillard, revealing the closeness of Maillol’s relationship to them.

Aristide Maillol, Femme accroupie, 1911 (model), Paris, Fondation Dina Vierny – musée Maillol, photo © J.-A. Brunelle
Aristide Maillol, Léda, 1901–1902, Private collection, photo © J.-L. Losi
Maillol_ Le-cycliste.jpg
Aristide Maillol, Léda, 1901–1902, Private collection, photo © J.-L. Losi
Aristide Maillol, La Vague, also known as Femme à la vague or La Baigneuse, 1896, Fire screen, needlepoint, probably executed by Clotilde Maillol, Paris, Fondation Dina Vierny - musée Maillol, photo © J.-A. Brunelle
Aristide Maillol, Danseuse, around 1895, Paris, musée d’Orsay, © RMN Grand-Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
Aristide Maillol, L’Enfant couronné, ca. 1890–1892, Fondation Dina Vierny - musée Maillol, photo © J.-A. Brunelle
Aristide Maillol and André Metthey (ceramist), Léda, ca. 1907, Paris, collection Larock-Granoff, photo © Collection Marc et Pierre Larock
Aristide Maillol, Vénus au collier, 1928, Kunsthaus Zürich, Vereinigung Zürcher Kunstfreunde, 1931

The image of woman today

Maillol’s contribution to Modernism lies in the formally rigorous reformulation and geometrization of the classical female nude in sculpture. In terms of subject matter, however, he persevered with a highly traditional theme within the history of the medium. A male artist, then, with a predilection for depicting nude women? Against this backdrop, the Kunsthaus came up with idea of an extra publication, to accompany the Zurich presentation of an exhibition that was originally conceived at the Musée d’Orsay. In it, ‘Vénus au collier’, a life-size female nude by Maillol from the Kunsthaus Collection, is sent on a journey through the museum’s galleries, encountering works by female artists along the way, ranging from the figural to the abstract, and from neoclassical through modern to contemporary. Maillol’s thematically traditional depiction of woman is thus contrasted with the artistic work of women, to reconsider his oeuvre from a modern-day perspective.

The exhibition will be shown in the Chipperfield building and is organized by the Kunsthaus Zürich and the musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris, and the Piscine, Roubaix, with the exceptional partnership of the Dina Vierny-Musée Maillol Foundation.

Aristide Maillol, Île-de-France, between 1925 and 1933, musée d’Art et d’Industrie André-Diligent – La Piscine, dépôt du musée d’Orsay, photo © RMN-GP (musée d’Orsay) / A. Didierjean

Public guided tour

  • German: Saturdays 8/22 Oct, 5/19 Nov, 3/17 Dec, 7/21 Jan 2023 at 11 a.m.
  • French: Sunday 30 Oct at 2 p.m.
  • Costs: Exhibition Ticket + CHF 6.– / CHF 4.– (concessions and members)
  • Registration via Agenda!

Private guided tour

We will be happy to organize a tour tailored to the needs of your group.

  • Max. 20 people
  • German, English, French, Italian
  • CHF 190.– (German) / CHF 220.– (other languages) + Admission Ticket (group tarif)
  • Duration: 1 hour

Ill: Aristide Maillol, La Nuit, 1909, Paris, Fondation Dina Vierny - musée Maillol, photo © J.-L. Losi