Initially, Julius B. (we do not know his real name) made his living as an agricultural worker. At the age of twenty-eight, he bought a farm, which he later sold to buy another one. In 1918, he was forced to leave Switzerland because of serious financial difficulties and moved with his family to Germany. However, he could not find any work there and had to go back to Switzerland. Travelling from one farm to another, he took up all kinds of jobs, but each time he was chased away because he tried to seduce the farmers’ daughters. In 1921 Julius B. was confined to the psychiatric hospital of the Waldau. He was convinced that he was institutionalized so that someone could steal his riches. Nevertheless, he created a relationship to the psychiatric institution that seemed to suit him. He did not ask for anything in particular, just that the hospital stopped poisoning his soup. In 1923, two years after his committal, he began drawing. Most of his drawings, in colour pencils, were created between 1924 - 1926. He often represented himself next to a female figure on a farm, surrounded by cows and sheep. On some drawings, he glued a coin or a stamp, which were supposed to serve as a reminder of his riches.
SEE ALSO :
Beretti, Michel, and Armin Heusser. Der letzte Kontinent. Bericht einer Reise zwischen Kunst und Wahn. Ein Bilder- und Lesebuch mit Materialien aus dem Waldau-Archiv. Zurich : Limmat, 1997.