Friday, August 28, 2009

Salomé de Büren 1706-1786

Salomé was the daughter Philippe Albert de Büren (1679-1756) and Elisabeth de Diesbach (1681-1724). She was a very beautiful woman but she could be "selfish and capricious". Whether she was simply a strong opinionated woman for her time or the characterization of Salomé is accurate is impossible to know for sure.

Salomé de Büren (1706-1786), painted by Robert Gardelle

Elisabeth de Diesbach (1681-1724), Mother of Salomé

Théodore du Gard (1703-1776)

In 1726 she would marry Théodore du Gard, Lord of Echichens and son of Gabriel du Gard and Sara de Saussure. The marriage would not be a happy one and they decided to separate. Salomé felt she could not live on the meager sum she was given, so she took her husband to court in 1757. They would have four children, only one son would live to adulthood. Marc-Théodore du Gard (1727-1777) like his father would be Lord of Echichens but would die in 1777 without an heir and so the du Gard family ended with him.

Marc-Théodore du Gard (1727-1777)

Interesting Historical Tidbit:

Salomé's father, Philippe Albert de Büren (1679-1756), Governor of Morges, owned the beautiful house of Herrengasse 23 in Bern. This same house would later be the intelligence headquarters for Allen W. Dulles during the Second World War.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Charles Philippe 1759-1795

Charles Philippe was the first son of Charles de Büren (1731-1787) and Cornélie Jacobée van Assendelft (1733-1799). Member of the Grand Council of Bern and Baron of Vaumarcus. Like his father before him he spent time in Holland as part of a Swiss regiment. He was an amateur painter that concentrated on nature scenes and found beauty in everyday life. His love of art was certainly fostered by his mother.

Charles Philippe de Büren (1759-1795), painted in 1791 by Joseph Marcellin Combette

Charlotte Elisabeth de Büren (1765-1837), Charles Philippe's wife painted in 1791 by Joseph Marcellin Combette

Elisabeth de Freudenreich (1747-1832), mother of Charlotte Elisabeth de Büren, painted by Johann Mottet in 1820

Charlotte Catherine de Büren, Charles Philippe's first daughter, painted in 1819 by Johann Mottet

Louise de Büren, Charles Philippe's second daughter, painted by Johann Mottet in 1816.


In 1783 Charles Philippe married Charlotte Elisabeth de Buren (1765-1837) daughter of Philippe de Büren (1727-1808) Governor of Aigle and Elisabeth de Freudenreich (1747-1832). Charlotte would later remarry Claude Dubois of Valangin.

From his wife he had five children:

1. Charlotte (1784-1843)
2. Louise (1786-1869)
3. Henriette (1788-1803)
4. Jean Charles Albert (1791-1873) ∞ Catherine de Senarclens
5. Philippine (1796-1832)

Examples of his artwork


Nature Scene, Oil on canvas, 1783

Nature scene, oil on wood

Copper plate etching, 1791

Copper plate etching, 1783

Interesting Tidbits:

The paintings of Charles Philippe and Charlotte Elisabeth profiled above appear on the wall of the de Büren home of "La Châtelaine" near Geneva in this photo from 1895.

Another interesting fact is the uncle of Charlotte de Büren, Charles' wife was Christophe Frédéric de Freudenreich, who had the greatest personal library in Bern at the time.

Christophe Frédéric de Freudenreich (1748-1821) © Swiss National Museum

Christophe Frédéric de Freudenreich, painted by Johann Mottet in 1812.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Otto de Büren 1822-1888

Otto was the son of Albert Rodolphe de Büren (1784-1856) and Catherine Thormann (1790-1852). He grew up in Bern and would rise to become the city's mayor, a position he held from 1864-1888. He was a great supporter of philanthropic and religious causes. During the Siege of Strasbourg in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, many in Switzerland were very sympathetic to the plight of the population of Strasbourg that was suffering terribly under intense Prussian bombardment. A Swiss delegation made up of Otto de Büren, his counterpart from Zürich, M. Römer and M. Bischoffet from Basel, made their way to Strasbourg and met with the Duke of Baden and the General von Werden. As a result of their meetings, they were able to secure the safe passage of non-combatants out of the city.

Otto de Büren painted in 1849 by Friedrich Dietler

Otto de Büren (1822-1888), photo taken in 1863

Bürenstock, home of Otto and the de Büren's of Bern until 1989.


In 1849 Otto married Henriette de Sinner, daughter of Charles Louis de Sinner (1799-1881) and Marguerite Sophie de Tscharner. They would not have any children.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Natalie de Büren 1903-1986

Natalie de Büren was the second daughter of Philippe Fréderic de Büren (1865-1953) andLouise Fabrini (1882-1974). She was born in 1903 in the small town of Santa Victoria near Chazón in the Argentine state of Córdoba. Her father had emigrated there in 1890 to start a cattle ranch. The family would return to Switzerland in 1911 for a time. Her younger brother Charles (Carlo) would later return to Argentina but Natalie would stay in Geneva with many of her siblings.

Natalie de Büren (1903-1986)

Natalie's husband, Alfred Copponex

Natalie had a great passion for art, her most important works created between the 1920s and 1940s. She engaged in many artistic styles, but sculpture was her first love.

Bronze bust of her husband

Thursday, August 20, 2009

de Büren Sisters

Both Jeanne Dorothée (1691-1714) and Jeanne Catherine (1693-1764) de Büren were daughters of David de Büren (1661-1729) and Jeanne Catherine Manuel (1671-1700). I have placed them together in a post because I find their portraits beautiful and I think they resemble each other strikingly even though they were painted at very different times in their lives.

In 1713 Jeanne Dorothée would marry Jean Fischer (1686-1756), Governor of St. Jean.

Jeanne Dorothée de Büren (1691-1714), painted in 1710 by Aufdermaur

In 1713 Jeanne Catherine would marry Philippe Mageran (1681-1758), Prussian Chamberlain and Governor of Lausanne in 1737.

Jeanne Catherine de Büren (1693-1764), painted by Aufdermaur

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Charles de Büren 1731-1787

Charles was the first son of Victor Charles de Büren (1707-1773) and Catherine Fischer (1712-1787). At the age of sixteen Charles started his military career by serving in a Swiss regiment in Holland. He would serve in Holland until 1771 when he returned to Switzerland with his Dutch wife. When his father died in 1773 he became Baron of Vaumarcus and Lord of Provence. He became a member of the Bern Grand Council in 1775 and Governor of Nidau in 1782. At his wife's request in 1772 Charles had built the newest part of the castle of Vaumarcus known as the “Palais”.

Charles de Büren (1731-1787), painted in 1779 by Johann Joseph Kauffmann

Charles de Büren (1731-1787), painted in 1760 by Guillaume de Spinny

Cornélie Jacobée van Assendelft (1733-1799), painted in 1760 by Guillaume de Spinny

van Assendelft Family, Cornélie Jacobée as a girl

In 1757 Charles married Cornélie Jacobée van Assendelft, daughter of Jacob van Assendelft (1692-1752), Mayor of the Hague and Adrienne Christine van Hoey (b.1697).

From his wife he had five children:

1. Cornélie Jacobée (1758-1835) ∞ Beat Emanuel de Tscharner
2. Charles Philippe (1759-1795) ∞ Charlotte Elisabeth de Büren
3. Jean Elisée (1762-1814) ∞ Catherine Charlotte de Thellung
4. Louis (1766-1766)
5. Jacques Louis (1771-1838) ∞ Marie Henriette de Tavel

David de Büren 1614-1659

David was the second son of Jean de Büren (1567-1622) and Barbara de Wyttenbach (1585-1652). At 17 he entered in a Swiss regiment that was attached to Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, during which time he fought at numerous battles and sieges. The sudden death of his brother shortened his military carrier as he was the sole remaining de Büren heir and needed to return home. His return to Switzerland would usher in a new chapter in de Büren family history.

He was Member of the Bern Grand Council in 1635; Governor of Romainmôiter in 1640; Senator in 1649; Governor of Lausanne in 1650 and Lord of Rolle and Seftigen.

David de Büren, painted in 1625

David de Büren (1614-1659)

Barbara Wyttenbach (1585-1652), Mother of David

In 1633 David would marry Marguerite de Bonstetten, daughter of Charles de Bonstetten, Baron of Vaumarcus and Barbara de Wattenwyl. Marguerite was one of four sisters and as there was no male Bonstetten heir for Vaumarcus, Charles de Bonstetten in 1656 petitioned the Sovereign of Neuchâtel, Henri II d'Orléans, duc de Longueville to allow him to give Vaumarcus to whichever son-in-law he chose. David made the right impression it seems.

Marguerite de Bonstetten (1616-1685), as a young girl

Marguerite de Bonstetten (1616-1685), painted in 1672

Barbara de Wattenwyl (1593-1621), Mother of Marguerite

In 1659, the Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold I would confer on David and all of his descendants the title of Baron of the Holy Roman Empire and Austrian states. The actual proclamation would not arrive until 1669, ten years after his death. I have reproduced the Imperial seal that came with the proclamation below.

In 1633 he married Marguerite de Bonstetten (1616-1685), daughter of Charles de Bonstetten, Baron of Vaumarcus and Barbara de Wattenwyl.

From his wife he had 10 children:

1. Barbara (1634-1698) ∞ Nicolas Daxelhofer
2. Catherine (1635-1636)
3. Jean-Charles (1636-1707) ∞ 1. Dorothée de Wattenwyl 2. Dorothée Tillier
4. François-Louis (1638-1657)
5. Jeanne (1639-1703) ∞ Joseph de Gingins
6. David (1640-1705)
7. Victor (1641-1708)
8. Salomé (1643-1680) ∞ François Louis Manuel
9. Albert (1644-1685) ∞ Benigne de Loys
10. Marguerite (1646-1723) ∞ Samuel de Tscharner

Nicolas Daxelhofer (1634-1707) husband of David's first daughter Barbara.

Interesting Tidbit:

David's mother passed away in 1652 while he was Governor of Lausanne. She was laid to rest within the ambulatory of the great Cathedral of Lausanne. She lies there to this day, I believe, with three of David siblings.

Ambulatory of the Cathedral of Lausanne


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