A Space of Their Own

Anna Waser

October 16, 1678 – September 20, 1714

Active in: Switzerland


Anna Waser, one of the first prominent women artists in Switzerland, was a child prodigy who was supported and promoted by her father. She was born in Zurich in 1678 and studied with the painter Joseph Werner in Bern. Trained in painting, drawing, engraving, and calligraphy, Waser is unusual in several respects: she produced landscapes, including illustrations for travel accounts, and she became a court artist to Count Wilhelm Moritz von Solms-Braunfels. Given her exceptional talents, Waser became famous among the European elite, including Queen Anne of England and Peter the Great. Waser’s family relied on her talent for income. She died in Zurich in 1714.

Selected Works


Adams, Henry Gardiner. A Cyclopædia of Female Biography: Consisting of Sketches of All Women Who Have Been Distinguished by Great Talents, Strength of Character, Piety, Benevolence Or Moral Virtue of Any Kind: Forming a Complete Record of Womanly Excellence Or Ability. Groombridge, 1857.

Füssli, Johann Caspar. Geschichte der besten Künstler in der Schweiz nebst ihren Bildnissen. 1770.

Hildebrandt, Irma. “Selbstbildnis einer Frühvollendeten: Die Malerin Anna Waser 1678–1714.” In Die Frauenzimmer kommen: 16 Zürcher portraits. Edited by Irma Hildebrandt, 13–24. Munich: Diederichs, 1997.

Strunck, Christina. “Hofkünnstlerinnen. Weibliche Karrierestrategien an den Höfen der Frühen Neuzeit.” In Künstlerinnen: Neue Perspektiven auf ein Forschungsfeld der Vormoderne. Edited by Birgit Ulrike Münch, Andreas Tacke, Markwart Herzog, and Sylvia Heudecker, 20–37. Petersberg: Michael Imhoff, 2017.

Waser, Maria. Die Geschichte der Anna Waser: ein Roman aus der Wende des 17. Jahrhunderts. Zurich, Verlag Classen, 1978.

Waser, Maria. “Waser, Anna.” In Schweizerisches Kunstler-Lexikon. Edited by Carl Brun, 427–31. Frauenfeld: Huber & Co., 1913.