Museum for Music Automatons

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Gouaches and oils

Last General Assembly of the Federal Banking Establishment, 1966

Portrait of a Planet I: the Universal Butcher, 1965

"I am not a painter. Technically, I paint like a child, but I don’t think like a
child. I paint for the same reason that I write: because I think." (Personal remarks on my paintings and drawings)

Although he enjoyed drawing from a very young age, Dürrenmatt began painting relatively late in life, in the 1950s. Yet he left the world a body of works in vivid colours, mainly gouaches and oils. Outstanding pieces include large-scale portraits of various friends and acquaintances — a.o. Charlotte Kerr, his second wife; Daniel Keel, his editor; Helmut Qualtinger, the actor and cabaret star; and Hans Liechti, the restaurateur and art collector. A number of colourful paintings represent historical, mythological and literary motifs, together with imaginary scenes like "Letzte Generalversammlung der Eidgenössischen Bankanstalt" (The Federal Banking Establishment’s Final General Assembly), which evokes the Last Supper iconography but is in fact related to the subject matter of his play Frank the Fifth, opera of a private bank.

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