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A major collection of French Painting

The traditionally strong presence of French painting in Switzerland receives a decisive deepening in the area of the collection through the spatial and organisational connection of the Emil Bührle Collection under the roof of the Kunsthaus Zürich. With this highly publicised focus, Zurich now ranks directly behind Paris in Europe.

Works by the Nabis, the Fauves, the Cubists and other representatives of the French avant-garde after 1900 are attached to this core. Older art is represented by the great Dutch 17th century and Venetian masters, as well as by a group of Gothic wooden sculptures. The Emil Bührle Collection includes world-famous works such as 'The Sower at Sunset' by Vincent van Gogh, 'Little Irene" by Auguste Renoir, 'The Field of Poppies at Vétheuil' by Claude Monet, 'The Boy with the Red Waistcoat" by Paul Cézanne and a 'Reclining Nude' by Modigliani. The artists in the collection include Canaletto, Ingres and Delacroix, as well as Manet, Degas, Gauguin, Signac, Vlaminck, Braque and Picasso. The loan contract for 203 works is permanent and can only be terminated with many years' notice, for the first time at the end of 2034.

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Paul Cézanne, Le Garçon au gilet rouge, about 1888/90, Emil Bührle Collection, long-term loan at the Kunsthaus Zürich
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Claude Monet, Champ de coquelicots près de Vétheuil, about 1879, Emil Bührle Collection, long-term loan at the Kunsthaus Zürich
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Paul Gauguin, L'Offrande, 1902, Emil Bührle Collection, long-term loan at the Kunsthaus Zürich
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Eugène Delacroix, Muley Abd-el-Rahman, 1862, Emil Bührle Collection, long-term loan at the Kunsthaus Zürich
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Antonio Canal (Il Canaletto), Santa Maria della Salute, about 1738/42, Emil Bührle Collection, long-term loan at the Kunsthaus Zürich
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Emil Bührle, about 1946

The world-renowned Impressionist works bequeathed by Emil Bührle (1890-1956) are closely intertwined with his activities as an armaments industrialist and with contemporary history, which is the subject of a detailed documentation. It is part of the tour through the halls, in which around 170 works are shown on more than 900 m2 , and conveys the historical context of Bührle's role as industrialist, patron and collector, who was closely associated with the Kunsthaus.

Gifts such as the large-format water lily paintings by Claude Monet or the Gates of Hell by Auguste Rodin have become an integral part of the collection. By financing an exhibition wing in the 1950s, Emil Georg Bührle created a platform for unique events, where art and the public meet directly to this day.

The archives of the E.G. Bührle Collection Foundation and the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft are represented in the documentation room with regularly changing presentations. An audio guide links the documentation to the exhibition and deals with art historical topics as well as questions about the provenance of certain works. Guided tours with changing focuses are also offered, providing background knowledge on the origins of the collection. Independently of the museum visit, a digitorial on the collection can be consulted online, which supplements the detailed information on the provenance of the works accessible on the website of the Emil Bührle Collection. The entire digitised archive of the Bührle Collection and that of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft is open to researchers in the Kunsthaus Library. A thorough presentation 'The Emil Bührle Collection. History, Complete Catalogue and 70 Masterpieces' (2021) by Lukas Gloor, long-time director of the collection, places it in the larger context of the cultivation of modern art in the 20th century. This creates both easily accessible and academically sophisticated conditions for studying the Emil Bührle Collection.

Website of the E.G. Bührle Foundation

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Where can I find the Collection Emil Bührle?

With our digital visitor guide you can prepare for your tour and find your way around the museum.