Fondation de l'Hermitage
As a small 1825 painting by Camille Corot confirms, from its windows as from its beautiful English park, the view from the Fondation de l’Hermitage has remained miraculously untouched. The cathedral, the Château St-Maire, Lake Geneva and the Savoy Alps framed by high foliage: if the French painter returned to the hill of Sauvabelin, he would hardly notice the changes due to modern life.
Far from the (overly) beaten track
June 1984 marked the beginning of a second life for the majestic 19th century residence, which was donated to the city by the Bugnion family. Spread over four floors it offers the public the attractions of a private setting.
Its first director, François Daulte, was an art historian and well-known publisher, who very quickly helped to promote the name of the Fondation. Impressionists, Bonnard, Boudin, and Magritte are at home at l'Hermitage.
From 1996 to 2011, Juliane Cosandier has proposed a high-reaching eclecticism programme of exhibitions focused on monographs (Brauner, Jawlensky, Caillebotte, Fantin-Latour, Hopper), collections (Weinberg, Planque) and trends (pointillism, futurism, English watercolour, Scandinavian painting, Spanish painting).
Sylvie Wuhrmann, director since August 2011, has taken the reins of the museum, leading it towards new successes, with captivating and varied exhibition projects, from 18th century to nowadays art.
A contemporary glass pavilion adjoined to the house serves as its reception and bookstore. An underground extension expands its exhibition spaces and connects to the farmhouse, which hosts concerts, conferences and children’s workshops. Its small red-brick “factory”, a former pigeon house and orangery built in the style of the period, has been transformed into a charming café-restaurant.