The biography of Fritz Zuber-Buhler (1822 - 1896)

Fritz Zuber-Buhler (1822 - 1896) was born in 1822 in Le Locle, Switzerland, but moved to Paris, in search of artistic glory, at the age of sixteen. He died November 23rd, 1896 in Paris.

He begin his training with Louis Grosclaude before officially entering the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the atelier of Francois-Edouard Picot, who had created an entire artistic lineage of painters schooled in the academic style and tradition.

Zuber-Buhler left Paris to travel and study in Italy, at the age of nineteen. He was away for a period of five years. However, he is also said to have been a student at the Berlin Academy between 1843 and 1844. Zuber-Buhler may have spent time in Italy prior to undertaking further study in Germany, enriching his work with experiences both in and out of the studio setting. After traveling and studying in Paris, Italy, and perhaps Berlin, he returned to Paris to establish his career as an artist.

Zuber-Buhler began exhibiting his paintings at the annual Salon, debuting in 1850 with The Childhood of Bacchus, The Madonna and the Child Jesus, Portrait of Madame Marquise, and with Dust Returns to Dust and the Spirit Rises up to the God who Gave it. He began also to exhibit drawings, pastel paintings, and watercolor paintings into his oeuvre and equally submitted those to the Salons. In 1867 he exhibited in the United States at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as well, showing The Pet Kitten, and also was part of the 1877 exhibition for which he received an award.

He was interested in executing works with mythological and religious themes, as well as completing portraits commissions. Both mythological and religiously inspired themes were of the highest order at the annual Salons and were looked upon with the utmost admiration. Zuber-Buhler continued to show at the Salon until 1891.

A contemporary of William Bouguereau, Zuber-Buhler’s canvases are indebted to the academic tradition in both their execution and theme, presenting dream-like visions of coquettish women, angelic young children, and hints of a mythological proclivity that created an oeuvre wholly in line with the academic ideas of idealized classicism. His choice of imagery displaces reality with its fanciful and romanticized reinterpretation favoring a love of exquisite detail and an emphasis on delicacy.

His works are now owned by the museums in Bern, Le Locle, and Neuchatel, Switzerland and in Montpellier, France.