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Voglio vedere le mie montagne

The last stage of Giovanni Segantini’s life and career in the Upper Engadin is closely linked with a number of places and buildings, which provide fascinating insights into the artist and his works.

House and pavilion

In 1894, Segantini and his family left Savognin and settled in the Engadin, moving into the empty Chalet Kuoni in Maloja. The house is still in family possession and contains numerous original objects, including the famous Bugatti furniture. Built onto the Chalet Kuoni is a pavilion, known as the Segantini Atelier, which nowadays is open to the public. Segantini commissioned the firm, Torriani, in Soglio to build this round wooden structure. It served as a 1:10 scale model for the gigantic pavilion that the artist was planning for the Paris World Exhibition and which was intended to house his colossal panoramic painting of the Engadin. After the project fell through, Segantini used the room as an atelier and library. He hardly ever painted there, though, as most of his canvases were created outside in the open air. The pavilion was, however, later used as an atelier by his son, Gottardo. 

Mountain hut on the Schafberg where Segantini died (photo: Albert Steiner)
Mountain hut on the Schafberg where Segantini died (photo: Albert Steiner)

Death on the Schafberg

On 16 September 1899, Segantini went up to the Schafberg (Munt da la Bês-cha) in order to work on the middle picture of his Alpine Triptych. There he suffered an acute attack of peritonitis and died in his hut on the Schafberg on 28 September 1899. The Segantini Hut, located at an altitude of 2,731 metres above sea level, can be visited in the course of a hike, and can be reached from the Muottas Muragl summit station in around two hours. 

Maloja

On 1 October 1899, Segantini was buried in the small cemetery in Maloja. A plaque on the Segantini family tomb carries the inscription, “Da presso e da lunge in terra e in cielo uniti in vita e in morte ora e sempre” (“Near and far, on earth and in heaven, united in life and in death, now and always”). Above the graves of Giovanni Segantini and Bice Bugatti stands the inscription, “Arte ed amore vincono il tempo” (“Art and love conquer time”). The couple’s sons, Mario, Gottardo and Alberto, were also buried here. Not far from the cemetery, high on a hill, is the Chiesa Bianca, where Segantini was laid out after his death and where his artist friend, Giovanni Giacometti, painted a picture of him on his deathbed.

Maloja is also home to the restored Torre Belvedere, once part of a hotel complex built by the eccentric Belgian Count Camille de Renesse. Segantini had harboured the idea of using Belvedere Castle as an artist's residence, but his sudden death put paid to these plans.

Further information:

www.segantini.com
www.segantinihuette.ch