Collection of portraits of the Senate room

Explore the collection


This collection, which consists of portraits of former professors of the Académie, then University of Lausanne, has long adorned the walls of the Senate room at the Palais de Rumine. For over four centuries, more than forty artists, some of them prominent, contributed to it. The collection includes different art techniques that varied over time: oils on canvas, tempera paintings, pencils, pastels, sculpted busts and cast busts.

The oldest work represents Jean Le Comte, who taught Hebrew at the Académie de Lausanne from 1558. The paintings originally came from the student library: students contributed to have a portrait painted when they wished to honour a professor. This practice was gradually abandoned, as students preferred the modernity of photographs and albums (which have now disappeared). At the beginning of the 20th century, the works were collected to decorate the hall of the Palais de Rumine, where the assembly of professors (the Senate) met for the first time in March 1906. The collection was then enriched on an occasional basis until 1982, when the bust of Constantin Regamey was modelled.

For a long time, this collection formed the oldest ensemble of paintings housed in a public place in Lausanne. The works were removed from their frame when the Senate room was converted into a refreshment room for the Grand Conseil. Property of the University of Lausanne, the collection is currently entrusted to the care of the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts. It will soon be available in digital form on this website.


Portrait of Jean Le Comte
Anonymous, oil on canvas, date unknown (second half of the 16th century)
Portrait of Constantin Regamey
Jacques Barman, bronze bust, 1982