The Suchard « Minaret »: When Local Craftsmanship meets Orientalist Fantasy

Radwan, Nadia (9 November 2016). The Suchard « Minaret »: When Local Craftsmanship meets Orientalist Fantasy (Unpublished). In: From East to West: Transmitting Islamic Aesthetics in European Architecture Institutskolloquium. University of Zurich. 09.11.2016.

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The chocolate maker Philippe Suchard (1797 – 1884) was not only an entrepreneur in the commerce of silk, Portland concrete and asphalt but also a Grand Tourist of the 19th century. After participating as a volunteer first aid worker in the Solferino battle with Henri Dunant in 1859, Suchard travelled to Algeria, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. These journeys inspired him to build a miniature mosque on the roof of his private house located in the centre of Serrières and overlooking the Lake of Neuchâtel. This fantasy, commonly referred to as the “minaret Suchard”, not only reflects the businessman’s fascination for the “Orient”, but also the broader context of Neuchâtel’s cultural and commercial ties with the Far East and South Asia, in particular through the watch industry and the trade of the indiennes. This contribution proposes to examine the interior decor of this architectural caprice, which reflects an original syncretism of local craftsmanship and orientalist design.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Art History > Contemporary Art
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Art History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for Global Studies (CGS)

UniBE Contributor:

Radwan, Nadia

Subjects:

700 Arts

Language:

English

Submitter:

Nadia Radwan

Date Deposited:

06 Jun 2017 10:08

Last Modified:

25 Jul 2018 13:19

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/96881

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