Louis Soutter et la musique - February 21 through May 4, 2003

Louis Soutter et la musique
From the 21st of February to the 4th of May, 2003, Lausanne’s Collection de l’Art Brut and Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts will be showing the work of the gifted draftsman and astonishing painter Louis Soutter. This shared exhibition, featuring a joint poster, catalog and entry ticket, will provide visitors with a generous overview of an oeuvre by one of the most imaginative Swiss artists of the first half of the 20th century. It is the largest retrospective of Soutter’s work to be held in Lausanne in 30 years – an event that no art lover will want to miss.
After having completed classical studies, Soutter (1871-1942) – a native of Switzerland’s canton of Vaud – went on to study music, before devoting himself to drawing and painting. At the turn of the last century, he left for the United States, where he became director of the art department at Colorado College. In 1903, he returned to Switzerland in a highly diminished physical and psychological state. Over the next years he played the violin, first with several symphony orchestras, and later for resort hotels and silent movie theaters. At the age of 52 he was interned against his will at the Ballaigues old people’s home (in the canton of Vaud’s Jura mountain region).
Thenceforth, Soutter produced work in a feverish and deeply intense vein. Only a few people recognized the extraordinary quality of his drawings: some close friends, his cousin Le Corbusier, the painter René Auberjonois, the writers Jean Giono and Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz, the publisher Henry-Louis Mermod, and gallery owners Claude and Maxime Vallotton. His contact with these artists and collectors encouraged Soutter to continue creating, but any hopes of achieving recognition beyond this restrained circle remained unfulfilled. It was as a solitary figure that this artist passed away at Ballaigues in 1942.

Practical Information


February 21 to May 4, 2003
Private view Thursday February 20, 2003, 18:30


Lucienne Peiry

Exhibition catalogue

René Auberjonois, Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Estoppey, Hartwig Fischer, Jean Giono, Heinz Holliger, Le Corbusier, Paul Nizon Lucienne Peiry, Jean Starobinski et Michel Thévoz, Louis Soutter, Ostildern-Ruilt, Ed. Hatje Cantz, 2002.


The exhibition Louis Soutter et la musique is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.