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Berthe Roten-Calpini

3 May 1871, Sion – 26 June 1962, Sion

As a particularly sensitive child, she was attracted to drawing and painting from an early age. She was marked by her meeting with Raphael Ritz who invited her several times to his studio in Sion. She then met Albert Gos in Geneva, who gave her some painting lessons and with whom she remained in contact throughout her life. Both painters encouraged her to study nature, to trust her talent and to develop her own style.

In 1901 she married Germain Roten, a teacher she followed to Nuremberg in Germany. She continued to paint in her spare time. In 1917, due to the First World War, the family returned to Sion where her husband had accepted a teaching position in the town's college. She often spent the summer in Savièse, making contacts with the many artists who had settled there. She found a particular light there that she let show in her works with detailed touches. She painted landscapes of this region but also of other places in the Valais: Findelen near Zermatt, Saas-Fee, the Löstschental and the Val d'Anniviers.

After the death of her husband Romain Roten (1924), Berthe Roten-Calpini moved to Sierre and then back to Sion. But her health no longer allowed her to go out into nature, so she organised her flat to continue painting.

She exhibited her paintings in Geneva, Grenoble and Zurich. She gave Pope Pius XI a painting of the Matterhorn as a gift, and he wrote her a glowing letter of thanks in return. In 1961, the Swiss Society of Women Painters, Sculptors and Decorators of the Cantons of Vaud, Valais and Fribourg organised an exhibition of "150 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures and decorative objects" in Sion. In 1974, his works were exhibited at the Manoir de Martigny in the exhibition on "L'École de Savièse". In 2015, the commune of Savièse exhibited her collection, which included many of her paintings. A year later, she is also associated with the quest for the lost paradise in the exhibition "Les Couleurs du paradis perdu" presented at the Médiathèque Valais Martigny, which highlights the history of the construction of this Alpine myth.