Ch.-J. Bugnion asked architect Louis Wenger to design a residence with him and from 1842 to 1850 he had the superb family mansion built and the magnificent park landscaped with rare species of trees. The villa, with part of the park, was given to the City of Lausanne by the descendants in 1976. The mansion has been carefully restored to its original splendour.
A private foundation was born at the same time. Its twofold mission is:
- to keep a superb 19th-century Lausanne residence alive and open to the public.
- to develop a high-quality museum of fine arts.
This second aim was realized in 1984. Since then, two or three exhibitions attracting visitors from all over the world are organized each year.
The Fondation de l’Hermitage also has its own collection, although it is not on permanent display.The Collection
Started barely twenty years ago, the Fondation de l’Hermitage Collection today includes nearly 800 works. A selection of works from the collection is presented to the public at regular intervals.
The collection is mainly made up of donations, bequests and deposits which spontaneously flowed into its care right from its inauguration in 1984, showing what a very special place the Hermitage holds in the hearts of the Vaudois population. Initially, the Foundation was given the rich Bugnion Family collection which notably includes a group of portraits going back to the mid-18th century as well as an important ensemble by Bocion. Among the numerous donations made to the Foundation were a nucleus of Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters (Sisley, Guillaumin, Morren, Puigaudeau), and a fine selection of works by 20th-century Vaudois artists (Gleyre, Chavannes, Vallotton, Bosshard, Domenjoz). The collection was recently enhanced by an exceptional bequest by Lucie Schmidheiny comprising works by the Tiepolos, Fantin-Latour, Vuillard, Degas and Braque. Lastly, various generous gestures by patrons have enabled the Foundation to make a number of major acquisitions including a painting by Boudin in 2000.
Several collectors and private foundations have also chosen to entrust the Fondation de l’Hermitage with their collections. The "Fondation pour l’art et la culture" has thus entrusted it with an outstanding collection of over 350 sculptures, paintings, drawings and engravings.The Vergottis Collection
Another major deposit is a collection of Chinese porcelain dating from the 12th to the 19th centuries, the property of the Vergottis Foundation. This ensemble is on permanent display in the underground gallery linking the museum with the Hermitage farmhouse.
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