Charles Eugène Perron (1837–1909) [1]

Portrait of Charles Eugène Perron
Charles Eugène Perron at work. Photo G. Dajoz.

Charles Eugène Perron from Geneva was a graphic artist, engraver, enamel artisan, and cartographer. After graduation at the school of applied arts in Geneva, he spent several years in Russia. Later, he worked in La Chaux-de-Fonds and Geneva as an enamel designer. He drew topographic maps for text books and atlases, e.g. the "Nouvelle Géographie Universelle" by Reclus.

His main work as relief builder was the terrain model of Switzerland at a scale of 1:100,000 without vertical exaggeration. Perron passed away on March 7, 1909 in Geneva.

Relief of Switzerland

Relief of Switzerland 1:100,000, 359 x 259 cm, Charles Eugène Perron, 1893–1900,
Muséum d'histoire naturelle de la Ville de Genève

Perron produced his model of Switzerland between 1893 and 1900. It provides an excellent overview over a great part of the Alps and Switzerland.

It was derived from the official "Siegfried Atlas" (1:25,000 and 1:50,000) and the latest maps available for the surrounding countries. By means of a pantograph, Perron milled out his model from plaster plates. The final modelling was carried out by hand.

The whole model consists of 100 pieces of 35 x 24 cm each, which corresponds to the individual map sheets. All pieces together measure 359 x 259 cm.

Noteworthy is the fact that this is one of the rare models that includes the curvature of the earth, and thus represents a globe segment.

Geologically painted relief of SwitzerlandGeologically painted relief of Switzerland
Details of Perron's relief in the geologically painted version from
The Earth Sciences Collections, ETH Zurich

[1] This article bases on Gygax, Fritz. Das topographische Relief in der Schweiz. 1937. p.65. and Imhof, Eduard. Bildhauer der Berge.1981. p.133.

see also Mair, Toni and Grieder, Susanne (2006). Das Landschaftsrelief, Symbiose von Wissenschaft und Kunsthandwerk. Mit Schweizer Reliefkatalog. hier + jetzt, Baden.

Kreisel Willi. Schweizerischer Reliefkatalog. Ein Überblick über das schweizerische Reliefwesen. 1947. p.11-14.