Wednesday, November 29, 2023

SearchResearch Challenge (11/29/23): What type of paintings are these? (Swiss Mystery #4)

 As I wander over hill and through dale, through alpine passes and mountain streams... 

A knight striding with flag, bear, and sword. (Bern, Switzerland)

... I'm seeing a kind of exterior artwork on the outside walls of many Swiss buildings.  This is such a common thing that surely there must be a specific name for these kinds of paintings that appear on the buildings.  Sometimes they're old, sometimes relatively new.  Some fancy, but most are stylized in a way that I cannot describe easily--they're often noble, or heroic, frequently bucolic, sometimes civic in design, almost always in a kind of flattened, non-realistic rendering. 

The Swiss Mystery for this week is this... 

1.  Is there a name for this particularly Swiss kind of artwork-on-the-walls?  Is there a particular name of the style in which most of them are drawn?  

I admit that I do not know the answer yet, but I feel as though there MUST be a rather specific term for these images on the walls of greater Switzerland.  

Here are a few examples: 

What do you call these?  More importantly, what do the LOCALS call this kind of artwork?  

I'd like to learn more about this artistic tradition, but don't know quite where to start.  Any ideas from the SearchResearch crowd? 

When you find the answer(s), let us all know HOW you found them!  Let notes in the comments field. 

Keep searching! 


  1. sidetracked from the painted walls by the fountains…
    Dan - is that ogre eating a baby*… bambino fondue?
    is that what happens when the chocolate runs out?

    Hans Gieng

    full poly-chrome -

    the British version*

  2. Good morning,

    I first asked a friend who lives in the Black Forest. He was at work so I googled [ painting on old germanic buildings] with no immediate results.

    I changed that search a little bit by adding a few more words [ mural painting on old germanic buildings is known as...] to get what I think is the word for this style of painting.

  3. Lüftlmalerei

    You might not like this, but I literally put in your exact question with the image into ChatGPT and this is what I got:

    "The artwork depicted in the image you've provided is reminiscent of a mural. In Switzerland, such murals are often associated with a long tradition of public art and can be reflective of various styles, from classical frescoes to more modern interpretations.

    Specifically, in Switzerland and parts of Germany, there is a tradition known as "Lüftlmalerei," a style of mural painting that is particularly found in the alpine regions. This style often features pastoral scenes, historical figures, and local legends, and is characterized by its use of vibrant colors and intricate details to create a sense of three-dimensional space on flat surfaces.

    The style shown in the image, however, does not strictly appear to be "Lüftlmalerei," as it seems to depict a more modern and possibly politically influenced subject, perhaps relating to Swiss history or culture."

    When you google Lüftlmalerei, you find that it is present in Germany and Austria, so it sounds like it might not be the right answer, but they do look similar to the ones you it feels right. (Maybe it has a different Swiss name.) If it *is* the right answer, that would explain why it's hard to find!

    I felt like ChatGPT (with vision) *might* be able to handle this kind of task well since it might have been trained on images of this style. The first time I prompted it with a different wording it wasn't as helpful, but putting in your exact question got me this answer!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


  5. SpiritualLadder - nice approach - seems reasonable.
    weighted toward German trompe l'oeil - they threw in terms "Baroque and Rococo"
    did find this contemporary Swiss practitioner -

    Dan, while you were in Bern, hopefully you treated your eyes…$

    I find Höch's image compelling - I made NO improvement -
    in fact it turned out DuhDuh, not Dada

  6. Hannah & Paul together… not DaDa, but PaHa
    very Swiss - projected in Lucerne

  7. looking for ground truth - is Zurich sharing the Munich experience? looks chilly
    not at this point yet -

  8. (AI)on the move in the UK, multiple fronts elsewhere…
    "A juris doctor (JD) degree from Stanford University in 1992, and a Dr. phil. degree in neoclassical social theory from Goethe University Frankfurt in 2002"
    "practices Qigong meditation and martial arts, and keeps Tai Chi swords in his offices"
    ⃞ no worries
    ⃞ some worries
    ⃞ max/mega worries
    ⃞ what, me worry? A.E.N.
    oh Hades…
    last year
    latching on the teat…

  9. I found this video reminiscent of a long ago challenge.:

    It is from an engaging BBC series entitled Rough Science. A group of scientists is put on an island with tasks to solve without the usual tools. In this episode one of their tasks is to find the latitude and longitude of their location. Latitude is a snap; longitude not so much.

  10. Dan, why are the comments appearing & disappearing & generally being screwy?
    early, so I don't forget… (is the Swiss tenure over?)
    Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr

    1. I really have NO IDEA. It's clearly a bug in Blogger, but as far as I can tell, there's nobody home to fix it. (Heavy sigh.)

    2. thanks, hopefully it doesn't progress/expand… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
      they can be a nuisance, vexing & puzzling… will AI bugs be exponentially more challenging? (escaping air)

  11. previous sRs related - additional octo info - very illuminating -
    via CrunchLabs… very well done, think all will appreciate -
    may lead more to join you in crossing octos off the menu?
    they are true ninjas/shinobi & shape shifters… and problem solvers.

    biped stealth

    1. Loved Mark Rober's octopus video. That's totally crazy, but fascinating. Maybe we need an Octopus Challenge?