Ernest Ansermet (1883-1969) -- This Swiss conductor achieved fame with Diaghilev's Ballet Russe in 1915. In 1918, Ansermet founded what was to become one of Switzerland's most respected orchestras, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, in Geneva, and introduced many new works that later became famous. He frequently conducted musical tours of the United States.
Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) -- His paintings of mythical scenes and landscapes are displayed in galleries throughout Europe. Among his most famous works are The Elysian Fields, The Sacred Grove, and The Island of the Dead. Böcklin used color imaginatively and developed his mythological portrays with great originality.
Jean Henri Dunant (1828-1910) -- Co-winner of the first Nobel Peace Prize, in 1901, this Swiss humanitarian was the founder of the Red Cross. Greatly affected by his role in caring for the injured soldiers at the Battle of Solferino (Italy, 1859), he later wrote A Souvenir of Solferino. In it, he called for an international organization, without political ties, to aid the wounded in future conflicts. His proposal eventually led to the Geneva Convention governing the treatment of combatants and to the establishment of the International Red Cross.
Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921-90) -- This Swiss playwright is best known for his grotesque farce The Visit, which was filmed with Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn. The Physicists, a mordant satire, was also acclaimed. In it, Dürrenmatt chose as his theme the danger posed by one person's possession of nuclear and nuclear-related technology.
Leonard Euler (1707-83) -- One of the originators of pure mathematics, Eurler, who was born in Basel, was invited by Catherine the Great to study and teach in Russia. Euler discovered the law of quadratic reciprocity (1772) in the theory of numbers. His study of the lines of curvature (1760) led to the new branch of differential geometry. Euler conducted massive research in algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and geometry and made discoveries in astronomy, hydrodynamics, and optics.
Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) -- This Swiss sculptor's works are characterized by surrealistically elongated forms and are filled with what critics have called "hallucinatory moods." During his early career, Giacometti worked as a painter; in later life, he returned to painting, but his works reflected a sculptural quality, according to critics.
Carl Jung (1875-1961) -- This Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist became the founder of analytic psychology. An early associate of Freud, Jung developed concepts of extrovert and introvert personalities and of the collective unconscious. Greatly influenced by artistic and archetypal themes held in common by many primitive societies, he stressed an active role for an analyst during the therapeutic process.
Paul Klee (1879-1940) -- Swiss modernist painter, he was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Combining abstract elements with recognizable images, Klee painted in a style characterized by fantasy figures in line and light colors. His works are displayed in galleries of modern art all over the world. He was also an accomplished musician.
Le Corbusier (1887-1965) -- This Swiss architect helped revolutionize international concepts in city planning and functional architecture. Le Corbusier designed his first house at 18 and later became famous for his buildings in Berlin, Marseille, and other cities. In 1950, he contributed to the design of the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York. He also was in charge of the design of the Visual Art Center at Harvard University. Although famous primarily for his work as an architect (he was reputedly a master at the unusual applications of molded concrete), Le Corbusier was also well known as an abstract painter.
Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) -- A Swiss religious reformer, Zwingli was a Catholic priest before becoming a Protestant minister. Enraged by the values of the 16th-century popes, he led the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland from 1519 until his death. The movement was later bolstered by the arrival of John Calvin in 1536. Zwingli translated the Bible into Swiss German and wrote a testament of Protestant teachings, On the True and False Religion. His influence helped transform Geneva into central Europe's most stalwart bastion of 16th-century Protestantism. Zwingli died in Kappel, near Zurich, in a religious war between Catholics and Protestants.
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