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Claire Brizon (ed.), Chonja Lee (ed.), ...: Exotic Switzerland?

Claire Brizon (ed.), Chonja Lee (ed.), Étienne Wismer (ed.), Noémie Étienne (ed.)

Exotic Switzerland?
Looking Outward in the Age of Enlightenment

Softcover, 366 pages

Date of publication: 23.09.2020


Why is an object, an artwork, or a person deemed “exotic”? How does one’s gaze get directed onto things or people seemingly belonging to other regions or cultures? These questions are examined here in relation to a specific context: the Enlightenment era from the Swiss perspective. This publication brings together research by academics and museum specialists for the first time in order to rethink this time period and geography. It contains essays and shorter texts centered on pictures, objects, books, and natural specimens from Swiss museum collections. “Exotic” in this context refers to things that come from elsewhere and that can be used and “improved” for the benefit of European powers. The term invites us to reconsider both the long eighteenth century and the international history of Switzerland.

  • Enlightenment
  • exotism
  • art
  • Switzerland

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Claire Brizon

is doctoral student in art history at the University of Bern.

Chonja Lee

is postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bern.

Étienne Wismer

is doctoral student in art history at the University of Bern.

Noémie Étienne

is professor of Early Modern Art History at the University of Bern.