top of page

Adolf Dietrich

Adolf Dietrich (November 9, 1877 – June 4, 1957) was a Swiss labourer and, as one of the most renowned naïve artists, one of the leading Swiss painters of the 20th century.

Adolf Dietrich was born to poor farmers in the canton of Thurgau as the youngest of seven children. Upon discovering his exceptional graphical talents, his schoolteacher suggested that he become a lithographer. His parents, however, refused: their youngest son was needed as a farmhand.

Dietrich would remain in the house of his parents, as a bachelor, for the rest of his life. Because the small farm provided little income, he had to work as a home worker and as a day labourer in a local textile mill as well as in the woods. Only on Sundays was he free to engage in drawing and painting. His first sketchbook dates to 1896, his first paintings to 1900. He created his works without any training or examples; but he did heed the advice of passing landscape painters to trust in his powers of observation.

The motives of Dietrich's works are limited to his immediate surroundings in Berlingen, and include rural landscapes, animals, people and still lifes.

Historical Art Museum

bottom of page