Genève | Monument Brunswick | Rolls-Royce Phantom

20,000 CHF

Title  Genève, Monument Brunswick, Rolls-Royce Phantom
Designed by  Robert Topulos
Original Edition

Pièce Unique (1 of 1)


Signed, dated and numbered 1/1
Mixed Media, Handcrafted Étorie

Accompanied by a
Certificate of authenticity


 Atelier WOCS, Genève


160 x 120 cm


The Story Behind

The Rolls-Royce Phantom was introduced in 1925. First presented as the "New Phantom," the first generation of Phantom has become known as the Phantom I. Rolls-Royce never officially titled it the 'I,' but the name has become standard to help differentiate it from other generations. As was standard at the time, Rolls-Royce only constructed the fully functioning chassis. The bodywork was done by handful of coachbuilder depending on the buyer's choice. The Rolls-Royce Phantom I featured a 7.7L inline six engine, and was in production until 1931. Rolls Royce badge was colored with red in the beginning years of the company, but it was changed to black in 1934 after the death of Henry Royce. Actually, it was Henry himself who decided to change the color of their badge because he realized that red can clash to some of their models’ color. The first model that was released with a black badge was the Phantom III of 1934 and was also the first car without the input of Mr. Henry Royce.

The artwork despites the Rolls-Royce I in front of the Brunswick Monument in Geneva. This neo-Gothic-style mausoleum is a historical replica of the Scaligeri family tomb in Verona dating from the fourteenth century and built at the request of the Duke of Brunswick. Linguist, musician and knight, the Duke of Brunswick, Charles d’Este-Guelph, was a unique individual indeed. Born in 1804, he was expelled from his duchy in 1830, located in what is now Germany. He fled into exile to various European cities including Paris, where he made a fortune and then moved to Geneva. In 1873, he died and bequeathed his immense fortune to Geneva in exchange for a beautiful funeral and a monument to his name. Never before had a mausoleum been built in Geneva and its construction was the subject of much debate. In the end, this monument was built in the Jardin des Alpes.

Two years later, in 1875, Adolphe Rodolphe Armleder founded the legendary and independent five-star hotel Le Richemond that you can discover on its original location on the right side of the Brunswick Monument on the artwork. The building belonged to the famous Geneva painter, François Diday, who bequesthed it to the city of Geneva after his death. According to legend, the painter's imagination and the young hotel-keeper's dynamism inspired the installation of a little funicular which sent the meals from the hotel's kitchen located in the basement to François Diday's workshop which was set up in the attic. 

Many years later, in 1987 the youngest member of the Armleder family was born, Stéphane, son of Sylvie and John. His father John, Victor’s younger brother, devoted himself to an artistic career at a very young age, and his work was recognized on the Swiss and international fields long before it was in Geneva. He was a founder member of the group of artists known in the sixties in Geneva as “Ecart”. This group connected Geneva with the international scene of ultramodern art.

Under the aegis of this group, he opened a gallery, a bookshop and a publishing firm and he organized many shows. The “Ecart” gallery and bookshop opened under John’s guidance in the basement of the hotel Richemond and later became the Centre d’Art Contemporain. The combination of all these has stimulated the hotel into becoming a lively centre of artistic research. The Richemond has welcomed at all times great artists like Hodler, Picabia, Miro or more recently Warhol.

The Armleders’ dream has come true and as an old saying goes: “The jungle of success cannot be crossed in sedan chairs”.

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