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200 Years Escher's Watercolour, 1812 - 2012
An initiative of the Geopark Sardona and the UNESCO Tectonic Arena

It all began 200 years ago ...

On the 22nd July 1812 Hans Conrad Escher painted his famous watercolour of the Tschingelhörner and Martinsloch (above). What's interesting about it is that, although he identified the uppermost layer of rock as being older than the underlying layers, he could offer no explanation for how this might have come about. And so the painting triggered a debate about how the Alps were formed and counts as a milestone in the history of geology.

Reason enough, thought Kaspar Marti of the Geopark Sardona (UNESCO World Heritage Site "Tektonic Arena Sardona" since 2008), to see how artists today would portray the scene and how geologists interpret their latest findings. As a result, interested mountain painters, including members of the Guild of Swiss Mountain Painters were invited to gather on 22nd July 2012 at the place where Escher did his painting 200 years ago and to re-interpret the scene in their own way.

Because of persistently unfavourable weather conditions the planned assembly had to be called off and it was left to the individual artists to make their own arrangements to visit the scene. Even so nine artists took part, including six members of the Guild (see below), and their works were first shown on 1st November 2012 in the UNESCO Visitor Centre in Elm, together with the unveiling of a new 3-D geological model of the Glarner Overthrust area. Here is my contribution.

Tschingelhörner and Martinsloch - Tribute to Hans Conrad Escher

The exhibition with over 20 paintings of the Tschingelhörner and Martinsloch subsequently moved to the LinthArena, Näfels, where it could be viewed until the end of February. The members of the Guild who took part in the project and the works they painted for the project are shown below.

Rolf Bräm

Tschingelhörner - Martinsloch

Verena Danioth-Küng

Martinsloch and the Glarner Overthrust of the Tschingelhörner Martinsloch and Tschingelhörner

Hansrudolf Gallati


Daniel Gerhard

Tschingelhörner and Martinsloch View of the Tschingelhörner

Albert Schmidt

Grosses Tschingelhorn - Martinsloch (East and West, Light and Shade) Martinsloch Geology: Old over Young (middle), Young over Old (left and right)

Peter Young

Tschingelhörner and Martinsloch - Tribute to Hans Conrad Escher, click for more details Martinsloch und Tschingelhörner in Winter, click for more details