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ALOISE CORBAZ  1886-1964

Aloïse Corbaz was a cultured and educated woman who worked as a private tutor at the German court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, where she taught his pastor’s daughters. Before that, she had wanted to become a singer.


Image: Aloïse Corbaz, Pêche miraculeuse du brodequin de Thalie, c. 1954, Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne. Photo: Olivier Laffely, Atelier de numerisation


On developing an over-powering infatuation with the Kaiser, her mental state became increasingly agitated and she was returned to Switzerland and admitted to an asylum in Lausanne, and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. The hospital director, Hans Steck, and his successor, Jacqueline Porret-Forel, encouraged Aloïse to draw and write. Initially, she illustrated romantic pieces of writing, but she soon developed her flowing drawing style using coloured pencils. Many of her earlier works are on folded pieces of paper and in sketch books and centre on a romantic couple or a single feminine figure.


Her chosen colours are warm pinks and reds, which contrast sharply with the empty blue wells of the figures’ eyes. Her later works are less complex incomposition but have bolder imagery and a stronger range of colours. Dubuffet claimed that Aloïse was not mad at all: she made believe. He was convinced that she had cured herself by ceasing to fight against her illness. She cultivated and made use of it, eventually turning her illness into an exciting reason for living.


Image: Aloïse Corbaz, Star of the Paris Opera, between 1952-54, Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne.



In our special Summer Sale, we are offering a huge 50% off back issues! If you are missing any copies in your RV collection, now is the time to order while we have stock. For a limited time only!


Our Summer issue (Raw Vision 90) has been sent to the printers and is available to order: