Al-Andalus in Zurich

This exhibition, elaborated within the framework of the SNSF-project Mudejarismo and Moorish Revival in Europe, presents the architectural sketches of the Zurich painter Wilhelm Meyer (1806-1848), made during his sojourn in Spain in 1845-1846. Like many other 19th-century writers, artists and architects, Meyer was fascinated by the Islamic and Mudéjar buildings of Spain. Eighteen of his minutely detailed pencil drawings and watercolours grouped in a folio volume preserved in the Kunsthaus Zürich’s collection of prints and drawings expressly document the importance of al-Andalus for 19th-century art and architecture. Central topics of the exhibition are the revalorisation of al-Andalus’ Islamic heritage, its description and graphic depiction, as well as the controversial debate on polychromy, or the role of Islamic ornament for the creation of a new style. – FG