The Kunsthaus presents the first Swiss retrospective devoted to Wilhelm Leibl (1844–1900), one of the most important painters of the 19th century.

Appreciated by aficionados


CHF 16.–/11.– (concessions and groups)
Free admission for members and children and young people under the age of 17. Tip : Senior (AHV) discounts every Wednesday


Note for groups

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

His relatively small output, which was quickly snapped up for quite high prices by public collections, is now much appreciated by aficionados. Leibl mainly painted portraits and interiors with rural figures.

Born in Cologne, he went to study in Munich, where his talents soon attracted attention. He was discovered by no less a figur e than Courbet and got invited to Paris where, at the salon the following year, he won his first gold medal for his «Portrait of Mrs Gedon».

A passionate painter and hunter, he withdrew to the countryside in 1873. Regular participation in international exhibitions in Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Budapest, Basel, Winterthur, Zurich, New York and Washington cemented Leibl’s reputation as one of the leading European realists. Van Gogh was profoundly moved by one of his key works.

Wilhelm Leibl, Mädchen mit weissem, Kopftuch, um 1876/77, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München - Neue Pinakothek
Wilhelm Leibl, Die Dorfpolitiker, 1877, Kunst Museum Winterthur, Stiftung Oskar Reinhart
Wilhelm Leibl, Mädchen am Schärgatter, 1895, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Köln
Wilhelm Leibl, Das Mädchen mit der Nelke. Fragment der rechten Hand, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
Wilhelm Leibl, Bildnis der Frau Apotheker Rieder, 1893, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig
Wilhelm Leibl, Wildschützen, c. 1882, Sammlung David Lachenmann
Wilhelm Leibl, Weissbärtiger Alter. Kopfstudie, 1866, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Köln
Wilhelm Leibl, Baumbestandener Hügelweg (Weg in hügeliger Landschaft), c. 1880, Sammlung Klüser, München

Guided Tous & workshops

In addition to our public guided tours, we offer special curator tours with Marianne von Manstein and Bernhard von Waldkirch. In the workshop with «urban Sketcher» André Sandmann we dare to approach Wilhelm Leibl's motifs.

Accompanying programme (PDF)


Exhibition curator Bernhard von Waldkirch on «Anker and Leibl in Paris», 16 January 2020, um 6.30 p.m. at SIK-ISEA , Zollikerstrasse 32, 8032 Zurich. In German.

Leibl credited his rigorous adherence to truth with the emergence of a distinct and modern form of figure painting in which faithfulness to nature and the study of the Old Masters are fully translated into the medium of art. For Leibl, what matters is to ‘see well’ – to reproduce a model without embellishment, close nature and its environment and^free from ‘isms’ and ideologies.

That view is just as relevant today: Leibl’s approach to art, in which self-criticism, destruction and innovation are the driving forces, has influenced not just Corinth, Liebermann, Beckmann and Kollwitz but also Maria Lassnig, Max Buri and Wolfgang Tillmans.

The more than 60 drawings and more than 40 paintings by Leibl assembled at the Kunsthaus Zürich include some rarely seen loans from Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the US.

The exhibition is a collaboration with the Albertina, Vienna, where it travels to after it closes in Zurich.

Curators: Marianne von Manstein and Bernhard von Waldkirch


Image above:

Wilhelm Leibl, Dr. Reindl in der Laube, about 1890, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich

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