Switzerland

Marie-Louise von Franz and the Psychology of Fairy Tales

Marie-Louise von Franz and the Psychology of Fairy Tales

On January 4, 1915, Swiss Jungian psychologist and scholar Marie-Louise von Franz was born. Von Franz is renowned for her psychological interpretations of fairy tales and of alchemical manuscripts. Her research showed common themes in tales from many cultures, which she linked with experiences in daily life. “The ego must be able to listen attentively and to give itself, without any further design or purpose, to that inner urge toward growth. “ —…
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Felix Bloch and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Method

Felix Bloch and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Method

On October 23, 1905, Swiss-born American physicist Felix Bloch was born. He is best known for his investigations into nuclear induction and nuclear magnetic resonance, which are the underlying principles of MRI. He was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) method of measuring the magnetic field of atomic nuclei. “While I am certainly not asking you to close your eyes to the experiences of earlier generations,…
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Arnold Böcklin – Swiss Symbolism and Décadence

Arnold Böcklin – Swiss Symbolism and Décadence

On October 16, 1827, Swiss symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin was born. He is considered one of the most important visual artists of the 19th century in Europe. Böcklin was one of the main representatives of German Symbolism, which broke with the dominant academic painting and the prevailing naturalism of the second half of the 19th century. “Portraiture is the most miserable genre of painting, because in it the artist is most bound.” –…
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Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and the Mount Blanc

Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and the Mount Blanc

On August 3, 1787, Swiss physicist and Alpine traveller Horace-Bénédict de Saussure made the third ascent of the Mount Blanc and determined via scientific measurement Mont Blanc to be the highest mountain in Europe. Horace-Benédict de Saussure – Growing Up in the Alps Horace Bénédicte de Saussure was born on February 17, 1740 near Geneva, Switzerland. Saussure received encouragement from his father, Nicolas de Saussure, his uncle Charles Bonnet, the naturalist and poet Albrecht von Haller and…
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Rudolf Wolf and the Discovery of the Sunspot Cycle

Rudolf Wolf and the Discovery of the Sunspot Cycle

On July 7, 1816, Swiss astronomer and astronomical historian Rudolf Wolf was born. Wolf’s main contribution was the discovery of the 11 year sunspot cycle and he was the co-discoverer of its connection with geomagnetic activity on Earth. Rudolf Wolf – Early Years and Academic Career Johann Rudolf Wolf was born in Fällanden, near Zurich, to Regula Gossweiler and Johannes Wolf, who was a minister in the Church. After studying at the Zurich Industrieschule,…
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The Case of the Last Condemned Witch – Anna Göldi

The Case of the Last Condemned Witch – Anna Göldi

On June 13th 1782, the maidservant Anna Göldi from the tiny Swiss canton Glarus was executed by the sword as being one of the very last women in Europe condemned for witchcraft. Concerning her case also for the very first time the term ‘judicial murder’ has been coined. Anna Göldi – Background Anna Göldi came from a poor background and worked as a maid. She gave birth to two children. The first died…
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Johann Heinrich Füssli and the Rise of Romanticism

Johann Heinrich Füssli and the Rise of Romanticism

On February 7, 1741, Swiss-English painter and publicist Johann Heinrich Füssli – in the UK better known as Henry Fuseli – was born. Many of his works, such as The Nightmare, deal with supernatural subject-matter. He painted works for John Boydell‘s Shakespeare Gallery, and created his own “Milton Gallery”. His style had a considerable influence on many younger British artists, including William Blake. “Life is rapid, art is slow, occasion coy, practice…
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Gaspard Bauhin and the Classification of Plants

Gaspard Bauhin and the Classification of Plants

On January 17, 1560, Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin was born. He is best known for his contributions to the field of botany, and especially for his classification of plants. He was a disciple of the famous Italian physician Girolamo Mercuriale and he also worked on human anatomical nomenclature. Gaspard Bauhin – Early Years Caspar Bauhin came from the Bauhin medical family, which had fled to Basel as Huguenots from Paris and Amsterdam;…
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Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

On January 5, 1921, Swiss author and dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born. Dürrenmatt was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author‘s work included avant-garde dramas, philosophical crime novels, and macabre satire. Especially his play “The Physicists” (1961) deals with questions of scientific ethics and humanity‘s ability to handle its intellectual responsibilities. “A story is not finished, until it has taken…
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Johann Lavater – Physiognomic Fragments for the Promotion of Human Knowledge and Human Love

Johann Lavater – Physiognomic Fragments for the Promotion of Human Knowledge and Human Love

On November 15, 1741, Swiss poet, writer, philosopher, physiognomist and theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater was born. He was a main representative of physiognomics in the time of Enlightenment. “Who in the same given time can produce more than others has vigor; who can produce more and better, has talents; who can produce what none else can, has genius.” – Johann Lavater, Aphorisms on Man (1788) Johann Kaspar Lavater – Family Background and Education…
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