This is another "unfitting" blog post, because it is not about photography or a photographer, but about "another" artist: this is a new contribution to the "my treasures" collection. The previous texts in this category - about Ueli Lüthi, Rudolf Mirer and Jacques Rime - have been very successful and are among the most visited posts. Today's treasure introduces Robert Hainard, who was a natural artist, writer and philosopher from the french speaking part of Switzerland. In contrast to all previously highlighted artists, including photographers, Robert Hainard is not alive anymore - he died in 1999 at the age of 93.
Rober Hainard studied art and is known for his drawings, wood and stone sculptures and most importantly his xylographs. He invented a method to create multi-colored woodcuts of animals and wildflowers. Robert Hainard observed his subjects in the wild and carved one wooden plate for each color of the final print (he used up to 14 plates per image). Different shades of color were obtained by removing more or less wood and the plates had to be carefully aligned (the crosses discernible in the prints help the alignement) and each color was printed separately ontop of each other. To me, these wonderful prints look almost like watercolor paintings and I am amazed at how he managed to imagine the separate images that were required to create the final work of art he envisioned.
Robert Hainard was not only an artist who created beautiful prints, sculptures and drawings of animals and plants. His inspiration came from his wanderings around Geneva, where he lived. He created his works of art based on the drawings of his observations and his memories and impressions of his excursions. An intact natural environment was therefore very important to Robert Hainard and he was an early voice that tried to remind us of the value and beauty of nature. Some of his ideas are nicely expressed in the movie clip below (in french).