Rudolf Staechelin Foundation
The works collected a century ago by a Swiss businessman — and now managed under the auspices of Rudolf Staechelin Foundation in his honor — have a rich history. The paintings under the Foundation’s auspices represent one of the finest private collections of modern art assembled during the 20th century.
During a period of rich artistic expression in Basel during the World War I era, Staechelin became enamored with collecting — especially the mature paintings of artists who inspired him. Drawn to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, he actively collected for only a relatively short period of time, but he namassed masterworks by, among others, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso.
Staechelin was no doubt responding to the explosion of exhibitions in Basel during the period, including showings of Gustave Courbet, Paul Signac, and Ferdinand Hodler. Bold new artistic trends were sweeping Europe and shaking up the art market. Most intensely in 1917 and 1918, Staechelin developed fruitful business relationships with dealers, especially the Maison Moos gallery in Geneva. It was there that he purchased some of what would become his collection’s most famous pieces, including Gauguin’s Nafea Faa Ipoipo, Renoir’s Paysage Avec Deux Figures, and van Gogh’s Nature Morte: Les Harengs Saurs.
Words: PETER LETZELTER-SMITH
Visuals: RUDOLF STAECHELIN FAMILY TRUST