François Gos: an artist inspired by Zermatt

Story 25

The painter François Gos dedicated his art to the Zermatt mountains. Not only his works, but also his book, published in 1925, show how deeply the mountains touched him. 

Childhood in the mountains 

It was a sunny day when François Gos was born into a family of artists in Geneva in 1880. From an early age, he was a creative spirit who tried his hand in many areas of art and later made a name for himself as a painter. His father Albert in particular, who was also a painter, influenced him, arousing his love of the mountain landscape. 

The Gos family often spent their holidays in Zermatt and fell in love with the breathtaking scenery around the Matterhorn. Father Albert was inspired by this area and painted over a thousand pictures of the famous mountain during the course of his life.  

Work for the Gornergrat Railway 

François himself was equally impressed by the beauty of the region. He designed several posters for Zermatt and the Gornergrat Railway, in which he demonstrated a special ability to capture the essence of Zermatt and the mountains in his work and thus bring them to life. 

François Gos as a witness of the time 

In his book “Zermatt und sein Tal” (Zermatt and its Valley), published in 1925, he wrote the following about the Gornergrat: “To get a complete impression of this wonderful area, you would have to fly over it in a plane or, more simply, look at it from the Gornergrat, where a surprising picture is revealed to the onlooker. For those who take the train to the Gornergrat, the panorama is interrupted by tunnels. The train changes direction in the dark. You’re confused with all the shaking and clanging. Sometimes a certain shape stands out from the fleeing walls, mono-shaped surfaces, grey in black. Suddenly a bright spot appears, enlarging into a circle and becoming the dazzling brightness of a sunny day. Then the Swiss pine trees also appear with their dark branches, and behind them the snow peaks everywhere, until the sharply defined forest line displaces the green and the bright white dominates without restriction.” 

François' art was a tribute to the beauty of the Swiss mountains and to the people who live in this beautiful landscape. 

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