Edmond Bille – The Parable of the Rich Man and the Beggar

Edmond Bille

(Valangin 1878 – Sierre 1959)

Project for a Stained Glass Window: The Rich Man and the Beggar Lazarus

The prolific Swiss artist and writer Edmond Bille was active not only as a an painter, engraver, and creator of stained glass windows, but also as a writer, journalist and art critic.

Edmond Bille studied at the Ecole des beaux-arts de Genève (1894–95) and the Académie Julian in Paris as well as in Neuchatel and Florence. Drawn to Swiss country life, he was one of the creators of an artist’s colony in the Bernese Oberland at Brienzwiler (together with Hans Widmer and Jakob Herzog). He eventually settled in Sierre.

Bille is the creator of the stained glass windows around the altar of the Cathedral of Lausanne as well as for several churchs and public buildings in Martigny, Sierre and other parts of the Valais region of Switzerland.

His daughter S. Corinna Bille became well known writer.

Ink and Watercolor on Paper
Dimensions: 55 X 22 cm

The Parable of Lazarus and Dives

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

(Translation according to the King James Version of the Bible)