Swiss Art is like Swiss food, which at its best is excellent but has many of the characteristics borrowed from neighbours. Its art and artists are similarly cosmopolitan with a native strain of distinct roots, most notably the colourful past, the confederation, the wars of independence or the Alpine scenery. Until fairly recently there was no such thing as Swiss, as distinct from cantonal, history – just as until 1848 there was no such thing as Switzerland as a unitary state. Swiss history is made up of the histories of the 26 (half) cantons most of which until the middle of the 19th century led their own political and cultural existences. (W. Scott, Pictures at an Exhibition. An introduction to Swiss History and Art, Geneva, 2007).