Discover Germany, Issue 56, November 2017

Page 30

Visitors enjoying the collection.

A home for the soul of Impressionism The Oskar Reinhart collection «Am Römerholz» in Winterthur opens the door to a comprehensive understanding of Impressionism, implementing an open, crossthinking approach that mirrors the original collector’s attitude towards the arts.

collection also includes Renaissance and Early Baroque artists, as well as the English Romantics with their light- and colour-filled landscapes and open layouts.

another area of interest. Thus, taking his picks here and there, Oskar Reinhart fully concentrated on connecting the threads, literally depicting the development it took for the French Impressionists to blossom. His cross-thinking approach has been followed up by the curative work at the «Am Römerholz» collection until today, fostering, as Maria Larsson explains, a “dialogue across the centuries”.

Reinhart liked to arrange and rearrange the paintings in his mansion to analyse and display interconnections between artists of various epochs, often ignoring the constrictions of chronology. Having lived in London for a few years while still conducting business for his father’s overseas company, he had become interested in John Constable’s paintings, an artist who claimed that “painting is but another word for feeling”. The gestural freedom of Constable’s brush stroke was therefore

The inherent charm of the collection no doubt stems from the fact that it is displayed in the building and gardens, forming the private home of an art enthusiast. Comparative to international private collections like, for example, the Neue Galerie and the Frick Collection in New York, or Kenwood House in London, the personal touch of the former home of an art patron, with architectural and botanic surroundings constantly interacting with the exhibits, also provide the unique at-


A citizen of Winterthur and the offspring of a wealthy local merchant family, Oskar Reinhart (1885 - 1965) was a born art lover, just as his father before him. Together with his brothers and sister, Reinhart grew up in a world infused with art. He quit the family business at the age of 39 to fully focus on his position as art patron and collector. His preferred epoch was French Impressionism and, as art historian Maria Larsson (PR of Collection «Am Römerholz») puts it, he “remained loyal to the artists of his youth and stopped with Picasso’s Blue Period”. However, he thoroughly sought out predecessors and influences as well as analysing crossconnecting movements. Therefore, the 30  |  Issue 56  |  November 2017