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Villa Abegg – The founders’ private home is now a museum Season Opening 30 April 2017

When the Abegg-Stiftung was founded in 1961, Werner and Margaret Abegg already had plans to open their home to the public at some future date. In both period and theme, the Villa Abegg was intended to complement and augment the institute’s collections. Architecturally, the villa completed in the late 1960s follows the North Italian Baroque, as represented by the school of Filippo Juvara (1678 – 1736). The formal gardens and fountains belong to a similar tradition. The reception rooms on the ground floor are appointed with historical wall panelling, chandeliers and furniture, and decorated with paintings, sculpture and tableware. The Villa Abegg nevertheless retains the character of an inhabited home that visitors may visit, rather like invited guests, in small groups only. Every year, these guided tours of the villa single out a different work of art or group of objects for attention.

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Of serpents and heroes Our special focus this year is on three bronzes showing Hercules in combat with wild animals by François Lespingola (1644–1705), sculptor to the French court.

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Renaissance furniture and works of art The dimensions of the “Renaissance Room” containing furniture, paintings, sculpture and fine craftsmanship from the fifteenth and sixteenth century were defined by the Spanish painted wooden ceiling dating from c. 1500.

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A whiff of China – export art from the Far East The walls of the small dining room are papered with a painted wallpaper brought to Europe from China by one of the East India Companies in the eighteenth century. Also on show are various Chinese porcelain exports belonging to the villa’s own collection of tableware.