The newly renovated Hotel Ascona offers exceptional accommodation, while also being a cultural venue. It hosts the permanent exhibition of 150 pen-and-ink drawings by the artist Luigi Pericle (1916–2001) and the Luigi Pericle Archive, founded by the owners Andrea and Greta Biasca-Caroni. The exhibition, which winds its way through the building’s corridors and communal areas, makes the Hotel Ascona not only a place for leisure and relaxation, but also a unique new art destination.
Guests at the Hotel Ascona can make the most of the permanent exhibition and, by appointment, discover the magical world of Luigi Pericle, his works, original documents and library. And there is more: when staying at the Hotel Ascona, they can admire the places and natural features that inspired his art.
Surrounded by wonders of nature and situated near locations steeped in charm and mystery – such as the Monte Verità, Eranos, the Museo di Arte Moderna in Ascona, the Fondazione Marguerite Arp and the Fondazione Remo Rossi – the Hotel Ascona is the perfect base for a cultural holiday devoted to art and beauty.
Locked up for years and overwhelmed by brambles, the 1930s villa next to the Hotel Ascona held a secret. The story of a forgotten master. His art. His culture. For fifteen long years, Greta and Andrea Biasca-Caroni watched over that abandoned house, dreaming of being able to buy it. Its garden bordered the plot occupied by their hotel on the slopes of Monte Verità.
Once they had finally purchased it and reopened it after a long period of oblivion, the house revealed an extraordinary legacy: hundreds of paintings and papers meticulously preserved in large wooden boxes crammed into the rooms.
The tall bookcases still contained carefully aligned volumes on philosophy, literature and art from every civilization of the past, from the Egyptians to the Far East, as well as scientific texts on theosophy, anthroposophy, astrology and ufology, which had fuelled the knowledge and wisdom of the great Luigi Pericle.
Luigi Pericle (1916-2001)
A painter, illustrator, man of letters, scholar of theosophy and mysticism, Luigi Pericle was a leading name in late 20th-century art history, esteemed by leading international figures such as Sir Herbert Read, advisor to Peggy Guggenheim and co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the collector Peter G. Staechelin, Peter Cochrane and Martin Summer of the Arthur Tooth & Sons Gallery in London. During his career, Pericle exhibited alongside great artists such as Karel Appel, Sam Francis, Asger Jorn, Antoni Tàpies, Jean Dubuffet, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Pablo Picasso.
At the end of 1965, at the height of his success, he suddenly decided to abandon the art establishment to devote himself to his own pictorial and spiritual research, immersed in the tranquillity of Monte Verità in a kind of hermitage shared with his beloved wife “Nini”. Until the 1980s, he produced an endless series of works on canvas and Masonite, Indian ink drawings and sketches, and then concentrated on writing an unpublished novel.
Thanks to this rediscovery, Luigi Pericle is now at the centre of a major critical and philological recovery project. The study, restoration, conservation and cataloguing plan for his artistic heritage – safeguarded by the non-profit association Archivio Luigi Pericle di Ascona, set up in 2019 – is part of a detailed promotion process, which includes publications and exhibitions in various international museums. Luigi Pericle’s works are housed in numerous collections in Swiss, Italian, British and American museums.