Fine art has always held a special allure for me. I could spend all day roaming the halls of the Met or the Louvre, appreciating a painting’s visual style, thematic allegory, or the artistic skill it took to bring it to life. I believe my love for painting springs from my own artistic pursuits, but also suspect it has roots in being surrounded by ancestral paintings from an early age.
I am drawn to their style, but am also fascinated by the expressions they hold, and the dress they chose to be immortalized in. I am fascinated by the time in their life in which the paintings took place, and the context around their commission.
For these reasons and more I am specifically drawn to my ancestral portraits of married couples and families. I search their expressions to see if they are windows into their relationships, I wonder what their lives were like when they were painted, and did they, as they aged look back wistfully on their more youthful appearance, or remember happier times. I will never know for certain, but these couples speak to me from the beyond, imparting veiled narratives of marriages long ago.
Baron de Vaumarcus, Charles Philippe de Büren (1759-1795), and his wife Charlotte Elisabeth de Büren (1765-1837) painted in 1791 by Joseph Marcellin Combette
Baron de Vaumarcus, Albert de Büren (1791-1873), and his wife Catherine de Senarclens (1796-1857), painted in 1820 by David Sulzer
Baron de Vaumarcus, Charles de Büren (1731-1787) and his wife, Dutch heiress Cornélie Jacobée van Assendelft (1733-1799) painted in 1760 by Guillaume de Spinny
Family portrait of Bernese Governor Louis de Büren (1735-1806), his wife Catherine Marguerite de Sinner (1754-1842), and their children Arnold Louis de Büren (1775-1854); Albert Charles de Büren (1779-1817); Albert Rodolphe de Büren (1784-1856); and Édouard de Büren (1794-1858). Louis and Catherine’s first child Catherine Rosine de Büren (1774-1849) is pictured at left with her husband Emanuel Ludwig von Ougspurger (1770-1824) and their child Vinzenz von Ougspurger (1795-1851). The scene was painted in Lausanne in 1796 with the Château St. Marie in the background. (Image courtesy of the Historical Museum of Bern)
Family portrait of Albrecht Rudolf von Büren (1784-1856), his wife Margarethe Katharina Thormann (1790-1852), and their son Otto von Büren (1822-1888). Otto would be a mayor of Bern later in life. The portrait was painted in 1836 by David Sulzer. (Image courtesy of the Historical Museum of Bern)
Family portrait of Baron de Vaumarcus, Victor Charles de Büren (1707-1773), his Catherine Fischer (1711-1787), and their sons Charles de Büren (1731-1787), Philippe de Büren (1738-1760), David de Büren (1734-1782) and Louis de Büren (1735-1806). The scene was painted in 1745, most likely at Vaumarcus castle in the canton of Neuchâtel. (Image courtesy of the Historical Museum of Bern)