Hugo von Tschudi

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Hugo von Tschudi.

Hugo von Tschudi (1851–1911) was an art historian and museum curator, notable for being a collector of important Impressionist works. Tschudi was born in Austria and became a naturalised Swiss citizen.


Gauguin's The Birth of Christ (1896), which cost Tschudi his position in Berlin

Tschudi bought Gauguin's controversial masterpiece 'The Birth of Christ' at a time when the work, mixing the sacred with the profane and the primitive, was not generally appreciated by Europeans. In particular, it was intensely disapproved of by Kaiser Wilhelm. As director of the National Gallery in Berlin, Tschudi loaned the painting to his gallery. He was promptly dismissed from his position by the Kaiser, but he was given a new job as director of the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, in the Kingdom of Bavaria, which he continued to manage until his death. He took the new Gauguin painting with him to Munich, and it is still there.

Between 1905 and 1914 the so-called "Tschudi Contributions" brought a remarkable collection of masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to the Bavarian State Collections in Munich. Tschudi, serving as the general director of the collections, acquired 44 paintings, nine sculptures and 22 drawings, mostly from emerging French artists. In Bavaria public funds could not be used to buy such works, but Tschudi's associates were able to find the money from private contributions after his death in 1911.


  • Ausstellungskatalog Berlin, München: Manet bis van Gogh, Hugo von Tschudi und der Kampf um die Moderne Prestel-Verlag 1996 ISBN 3-7913-1748-2
  • Barbara Paul: Hugo von Tschudi und die moderne französische Kunst im Deutschen Kaiserreich Zabern-Verlag 2001 ISBN 3-8053-1416-7

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