Swiss National Bank, fourth issue

During the Second World War, the Swiss National Bank decided to entrust the design of a series of four new banknotes to two Swiss artists. The 100 francs Type 1942 (Ref: Pick: # 43 or TBB : # B328) was created by the painter Victor Surbeck (1885-1975). The other three banknotes 50 francs Type 1945 (Ref. Pick: # 42 or TBB : # B327), 500 francs Type 1949 (Ref. Pick: # NA or TBB : # B329) and 1000 francs Type 1950 (Ref. Pick: # 44 or TBB : #B 330) will be the work of the painter and sculptor Hans Erni (1909-2015), who became famous in 1939 for making a monumental painting entitled "Switzerland, People's Holiday Destination" for the Swiss National Exhibition in Zurich. All the notes were printed except the 500 francs which will remain at the stage of proof. This fourth series will never be released because of controversy; a Swiss parliamentarian from Lucerne will object that Erni was a communist and that the Swiss National Bank (SNB) could not issue the notes under these conditions. The notes were thus kept in reserve after 1945. Hans Erni has never been a member of any political party and his rehabilitation as an artist will be a long way. The Swiss art institutions will continue to boycott him and his works for a long time despite (or because of) his popularity. Hans Erni will die in Lucerne in 2016 at the age of 106!

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