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In 1959 the parochial hall in Winterthur-Veltheim gives him the chance to show the public the culmination of his research on the theme of Jacob and the Angel, with a sgraffito representing Jacob’s Ladder and a tapestry showing the Struggle of Jacob and the Angel.
After the stained glass windows unveiled in "l'Eglise Réformée Française" of Winterthur in 1957, Wehrlin produces in Elsau (ZH), between 1960 and 1962, a series of 8 stained glass windows (glass and lead) which are considered by many to be the final development of his art.


The stained glass windows in Elsau



In 1961, the Sulzer factories in Winterthur order two huge mural decorations, with one measuring 4.1m x 27m, whereas in the following year for the « Maison pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle Suisse », a sgraffito entitled « Transformation », destined to be used to decorate the headquarters of this organisation in Berne.


Study for the mural decoration of the Sulzer factories 1961
Oil on card - 19 x 106

When he disappeared on the 29th of February, 1964, at the age of 60, he had just finished illustrating Hôlderin’s poems of folly for the Orelli Füssli publishers in Zurich. He was working on three stained glass window projects, which were to be partially finished by Heinrich Bruppacher, a young Winterthur painter that he encouraged to take up painting in 1950.

Abstract composition 1962
Oil on card - 34 x 37

Portrait of Jacques dressed in blue 1957
Oil on isorel - 46 x 38

In conclusion and to use an evaluation made by BRUPPACHER (1930-2010) when going back over WEHRLIN’s life at the Winterthur museum in 1965 :
« WEHRLIN was not interested in finishing things, as this would have meant immobility and then repetition. He understood perfectly well that painting is life and life evolution ; that the painter is always standing between the beginning and the end and that his work can not be the final definition of things, but rather the expression of a progression, with its stages and possibilities. On the strength of this conviction, he learned to resist the temptation of superficial success, which he could very easily have obtained. The struggle of Jacob and the Angel, a theme which always obsessed him and which he finally expressed in a tapestry, is a perfect symbol of his life ».
(Jacques Wehrlin - September 2010)

 




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