Cuno Amiet

Cuno Amiet's Self-Portrait in Yellow
(detail), oil, 1907

Hesse first met Cuno Amiet in 1905 and wrote the introduction to a catalogue for an exhibition of the painter's works in Zurich. The compelling portrait of Hesse that Cuno Amiet painted onto board using just a few bold and expressive strokes of the brush in 1919 bears the title of Hesse's pseudonym, Emil Sinclair. Cuno Amiet, who was born in Solothurn in 1868 and died in Oschwand in 1961, was one of the most important pioneers of modernism in Switzerland, "He does not set limits but stretches them," Hesse wrote admiringly. Originally influenced by Jugendstil, the artist was a member of the German expressionist group Die Brücke in the years 1906 and 1907. Amiet, who worked predominantly in strong, light shades, produced countless landscapes and portraits. As a close friend of Hesse, he took in his son, Bruno, in April 1920, and gave the budding artist his first lessons.