Book chapter
Open access

Corps noueux, corps héroïques. En quête du muscle viril dans la peinture nationale du XIXe siècle

Published inFaire corps, Temps, lieux et gens, Editors Aceti, M. ; Jaccoud, C. & Tissot, L., p. 135-152
Publication date2018

“The gnarled Swiss” is one of the common expressions for the alleged physical traits of the founders of the Confederation. This article analyzes the many meanings of the Swiss “gnarled body” that have not yet been highlighted from a point of view of its representations in 19th century and early 20th century Swiss painting. Beginning by establishing the origins of the archetype of the Swiss gnarled arm, it evaluates the implications, both in Swiss sports practice and the representations of the body in Swiss art. It fully inscribes the theme in a political perspective. The Athenian reference in which is illustrated the figure of the virile athlete able to defend the fatherland is underlying. In the same way, the ideal of the new body refers to the political allegory of a strong Confederation in the face of the hegemonic threats of neighboring states.

  • “Gnarled arms”
  • Unspunnen fair
  • Gymnastics federal fair
  • Swiss mercenaries
  • Shepherd's games
Citation (ISO format)
EL-WAKIL, Leïla, BAUDOUI, Remi. Corps noueux, corps héroïques. En quête du muscle viril dans la peinture nationale du XIXe siècle. In: Faire corps, Temps, lieux et gens. [s.l.] : ALPHIL, 2018. p. 135–152.
Main files (1)
Book chapter (Published version)
  • PID : unige:110575

Technical informations

Creation11/08/2018 2:50:00 PM
First validation11/08/2018 2:50:00 PM
Update time03/15/2023 1:11:29 PM
Status update03/15/2023 1:11:29 PM
Last indexation01/17/2024 4:03:28 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack