Adolf Wölfli was born in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. At the age
of seven he was abandoned by his father. The boy remained alone with his
mother for two years, before being placed in peasant families where he
worked as a goatherd and farmhand. Later he became a woodcutter, then a
labourer. A few years afterwards Wölfli was arrested for indecent
exposure and imprisoned for two years. On his release, he committed the
offence again and in 1899 was admitted to the hospital in Waldau, near
Bern, where he stayed until he died.
Adolf Wölfli started to draw,
write and compose music at the age of 35. His output was colossal. It
included 25,000 pages strewn with graphic compositions done with
crayons, but also collages, literary creations and musical scores. In
his drawings, figures whose eyes are surrounded by a mask are combined
with musical notes, snippets of text and brightly coloured shapes. The
ornamental elements have both a decorative and a rhythmic function.
Bönigen is a village and municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the Swiss canton of Bern. It lies on the shore of Lake Brienz, near to the mouth of the Lütschine river, and adjacent to the resort town of Interlaken.
Photo by @imeshari (Instagram)