|Richard Kissling 1848-1919|
After 13 years in Rome , he went back to Switzerland, where one of his works, a bust of Alfred Escher was noticed in the Zürich Exposition of 1883. It won him a commission work to build the fountain/monument honoring Escher in the Zürich main train station.
In 1892, Kissling won the competition to design the monument of Swiss national hero William Tell for the town of Altdorf in the canton of Schwyz. With 30 artists joining the contest, Kissling's design of William Tell with his arm around his son and a crossbow won first price. The famous William Tell monument of Altdorf is probably Kisslings most famous work.
Another National Hero
Winners were then announced a year later, first prize going to "Al Martir de Bagumbayan" by Italian Carlo Nicoli. Unfortunately Nicoli was not able to fulfill the necessary requirements to seal the contract and due to other vague reasons, the commissioned work was awarded to Kissling.
Wassen and Gothard Granite
In 1909, Kissling then began his work on the monument. The bronze statue of Rizal including the figures around the main statue of the subject was cast in his Zürich atelier. It was then transported to Wassen, in the canton Uri for for mounting and measurement for its granite base and pedestal. Wassen happens to be a place where the famous Gotthard granite could be found. From there, Kissling easily managed the necessary cut of the stones.
|The first location of Rizal monument..the Swiss Alps. The monument during its mounting in Wassen.|
From the Alps, the monument was transported via railway to neighboring Italy where it took a ship from the Mediterranean going to the Suez and traveled to the Philippines.
In 1913, to commemorate the 17th year of Rizal's execution Richard Kissling's "Motto Stella" was unveiled.
|Kissling in 1914|
Few years later in 1919, Richard Kissling died in his sleep. The once famous artist of his country, who was once called "national sculptor of Switzerland', died almost forgotten, owing to the fact that his 'classic-heroic" style was already considered obsolete. It was said that the plaster model of one of his famous work "Alfred Escher Monument" was even thrown in the Lake of Zürich.
In the Philippines only few people knows that Richard Kissling was the artist who designed the Rizal monument.
|The William Tell monument in Altdorf.|
|Statue of Alfred Escher in Zurich main train station|
|Rizal monument. Notice the similarity to the Escher statue revealing the style of the artist.|