200 Swiss Francs

200 Swiss FrancsSwitzerland Currency 200 Swiss Francs
Banknotes of Switzerland 200 Swiss Francs note
Swiss National Bank
Schweizerische Nationalbank - Banque Nationale Suisse - Banca Nazionale Svizzera - Banca Naziunala Svizra

The portrait on the front side of the 200 franc banknote shows Charles Ferdinand Ramuz (1878-1947), one of the major French-speaking Swiss authors of the 20th century. His extensive literary oeuvre includes novels, essays, poetry, theoretical writings and treatises on the music of Igor Stravinsky. Ramuz' work is characterised by a profound commitment to the truth and strict aesthetic standards. At the centre of his writings is man with all his hopes and wishes. Magnificently depicted landscapes serve as the backdrop, in which mountainous regions and lakes have a special place. In formal terms, Ramuz modernised the novel by using new expressive techniques borrowed from painting and the cinema.

Reverse side of the 200 Swiss francs is showing:
The mountain world — the importance of mountains in the work of Ramuz is symbolised by the Diablerets massif. Many of his novels contain dramatic descriptions of mountains as a natural force threatening to man. Examples of this may be seen in „Derborence”, „La Grande peur dans la montagne”, „Si le soleil ne revenait pas” and „Farinet”.
The lake — the Lavaux area by Lake Geneva, of which Ramuz was a native, stands in contrast to the mountain wilderness. Here, the author unfolds a countryside tamed by human hands, soft and conciliatory. The repetition of the image alludes to Ramuz’ modern narrative style, which, like the cinema, uses changes in perspective and narrative leaps to build dramatic tension.
The manuscript — this handwritten passage in the foreground is from „Souvenirs sur Igor Strawinsky"”, published in 1928. Ramuz dedicated this text to his friendship and collaboration with the Russian composer. The most important joint work by the two artists was the melodrama „L’Histoire du soldat” (1918). The facsimile in the background is taken from the manuscript of the novel „La Beautésur la terre” (1927).

Banknote of 200 Swiss francs has dimensions 170 x 74 mm and main colors are raw umber, sand, desert sand, shadow, khaki and wild blue yonder. Date of issue of 200 Swiss francs banknote was 1 October 1997.
Printer: Orell Füssli Arts Graphiques S.A.

Banknotes of the Swiss franc
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200 franc banknote: Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, 1878 - 1947 Writer
The work of Charles Ferdinand Ramuz impresses by its diversity and sophistication. It is characterised by high aesthetic standards and a profound commitment to the truth. During his lifetime Ramuz was often - incorrectly - classified as a regional author, even though his artistic commitment and critical analysis of the classical French mode of expression put him ahead of his time. Today, Ramuz is regarded as a modern writer who renewed the formal structure of the novel. He is certainly one of the greatest French-Swiss authors of the 20th century.

Human destiny and symbolic landscapes
The volume of poems, Le Petit village (1903), and the early novels, Aline (1905), Jean-Luc persecute (1909), Aimé Pache, peintre vaudois (1911) and Vie de Samuel Belet (1913) depict simple people who are undone by their hopes and desires. Later, Ramuz turned to more mythical themes, but he continued to paint powerful human characters and remained true to his love of realistic descriptions and landscape images. The novels written after 1914 owe much to the Vaud and Valais regions. In La Beauté sur la terre (1927; Beauty on Earth) and Le Garçon savoyard (1936) lakes play a key role, while in La Grande peur dans la montagne (1926, Terror on the Mountain), Farinet ou la fausse monnaie (1932), Derborence (1934, When the Mountain fell) and Si le soleil ne revenait pas (1937) mountains are a central theme. Yet Ramuz' superbly drawn landscapes are never an end in themselves. They serve as the setting for treatments of human beings and their destinies. The focus is always on man and his struggle.

Originality of form
The formal originality of Ramuz' work finds expression in the varying of narrative perspective and the use of images and similes that harmonise with the rural characters depicted in his works. Like the highly admired Cézanne in his painting, Ramuz sought to express universal truths through literature. He believed that art did not simply reflect existing reality, but that by building its own world it created a new reality. The form of expression with which this was achieved was more important to Ramuz than the content, and this led him to a stylistic audacity that could irritate and even shock his contemporary readers.

In his theoretical writings and in the essays Taille de l'homme (1933) and Besoin de grandeur (1937) Ramuz
examines the close connection between staying true to realism and having a commitment to human values and
ideals. This shows clearly how Ramuz' represen-tation of the particular always points towards the general. The particular is the point of departure, the raw material from which the human element is artistically fashioned, and which at the same time must prevent the writer from losing himself in the dizzy heights of the abstract. Religious and political questions affecting people in the modern world are discussed without prejudice in Ramuz' essays and diaries.

International recognition
The great French writers of his time very quickly accepted Ramuz as an equal. Well-known personalities such as Paul Claudel and André Gide expressed their enduring admiration and affinity for him. In Claudel's words (as early as 1925), Ramuz was "most gifted and possessed of imaginative power. Through him, style is undergoing a renewal. He is content only when working on the grandest subjects. He has a sense of the truly tragic in human life.

1878 - Charles Ferdinand Ramuz was born on September 24 in Lausanne.
1894 - 1896 - Secondary schooling in Lausanne.
1896 - 1897 - Spends a year in Karlsruhe. Decides to become a writer. First poems.
1897 - 1903 - Studies language and literature in Lausanne and Paris.
1903 - A first book of poetry, Le Petit village, appears.
1903 - 1904 - Tutor in Weimar in the home of the Russian Count Maurice Prozor.
1904 - 1914 - Lives mainly in Paris, where he discovers his personal expressive power and identity as a writer of French-speaking Switzerland. A time of prolific literary production.
1913 - Marriage to the Neuchâtel painter Cécile Cellier. Birth of daughter Marianne.
1914 - 1918 - Returns to Lausanne. Publishes the Cahiers vaudois, a monthly literary journal. The first issue
contains Ramuz' famous essay, Raison d'être.
1918 - Premiere of L‘Histoire du soldat, a melodrama, with lyrics by Charles Ferdinand Ramuz, music by
Igor Stravinsky and sets by René Auberjonois.
1919 - 1939 - Publication of some 30 works, among them some of the major novels. Growing fame in
Switzerland and abroad, especially in France, where he is published by Grasset.
1936 - Receives literary award from the Schiller Foundation.
1947 - Ramuz died on May 23 in Pully, near Lausanne.

The 200 franc banknote is one of the six notes currently issued by Switzerland. It was first printed in 1996 and has been in circulation since October 1, 1997. It was initially created as a replacement for the 500 franc note, whose last series was recalled in 2000 and will be made obsolete in 2020. A second series of 200 franc note was initially planned to be released in 2012, but now the Swiss National Bank, the official currency-issuing authority of Switzerland, projects it to be issued as early as 2015.

Issuance of the eighth series of Swiss franc notes began in 1995 with the introduction of the newly revised 50 franc note. The first 200 franc note was printed in 1996, but not issued until October 1, 1997. It has since proven more successful than the higher-denominated 500 franc note, which it was made to replace. Like all of the other notes of the eighth series, it was designed by Swiss artist Jörg Zintzmeyer (1947–2009). The 200 franc banknote has vertical orientation, and measures 170 millimeters in width by 74 in height. Its main color is described as brown, but there are elements that are yellow, blue, and white as well. Featured at the bottom left portion of the obverse is a facing image of Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz (1878–1947), a French-speaking Swiss writer who was active during the early to mid 20th century. Superimposed over the bottom of the likeness is a touch perceptible square pattern, which allows the blind and visually impaired to recognize the value. The denomination "200" is written over the image at the left side of the note four times, each with special ink. These values correspond in location with "E", "F", "G", and "H" tabs running down the left portion of the note. Printed vertically in black ink to the right of the image is the French text "BANQUE NATIONALE SUISSE" (English: "Swiss National Bank") which is in turn flanked to the right by the Italian "BANCA NAZIONALE SVIZZERA" (meaning the same as the French text) written in blue ink in the same direction. Directly above the image of Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz are four Kinegram elements. The leftmost of these shows the Swiss cross from the national flag of Switzerland, one has the "BNS" abbreviation for the Swiss National Bank used by French, Italian, and Romansh speakers, while another bears the "SNB" abbreviation used by English and German speakers. When the latter two Kinegram are seen tilted, the denomination is made visible. Near the "A" tab at the side of the note the value is printed in a transparent color, at tab "B" it is a watermark, at tab "C" it is written using intaglio printing, and at tab "D" with perforated ink. An image of Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz at work is shown at the upper left corner of the note. Next to it in a white-colored area is the Swiss cross and the vertically-printed caption "Charles Ferdinand Ramuz 1878-1947". The French value "Deux Cents Francs" (English: "Two hundred francs") is written vertically in black ink at the right edge of the note, with the Italian text of the same meaning, "Duecento Franchi", written to its right in the same direction in blue ink. Printed next to the French value is the text "Les billets de banque sont protégés par le droit penal.", and written next to the Italian value are the words "Le banconote sono protette dal diritto penale."; both translate to English as "Banknotes are protected by criminal law". The note's value is printed once again in the upper right corner as "200".

An image of the Diablerets, a mountain in the Bernese Alps, is printed in blue ink at the top of the note's reverse. It symbolizes the importance of mountains in many of Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz's works, including his 1926 work La grande peur dans la montagne ("Terror on the Mountain") and his 1934 novel Derborence ("When the Mountain Fell"). Below it is a yellow and green view of the Lavaux area around Lake Geneva, the area of Switzerland from which Ramuz hailed. At the very bottom of the note is an autotype of a mountain from Ramuz's 1927 La beauté sur la terre in the background, with text from Ramuz's 1928 Souvenirs sur Igor Stravinsky in the foreground. Printed below the text in white lettering is the French caption "Extrait du manuscrit Souvenirs sur Igor Strawinsky 1928" (English: "Excerpt from the manuscript Souvenirs sur Igor Stravinsky, 1928"), which is separated from what it describes by a solid white line. The serial number, which begins with the last two digits of the year of production, is inscribed vertically in brown ink in a rectangular border superimposed above the mountain from La beauté sur la terre. It is printed vertically again in dark-colored letters at the top left corner of the reverse. Written horizontally near it, at the left side of the note, is the value "200". A Swiss cross identical to that on the obverse is shown near the top center of the reverse. The German name of the Swiss National Bank, "SCHWEIZERISCHE NATIONALBANK", is printed vertically in blue ink at the right side of the note, and the Romansh name, "BANCA NAZIUNALA SVIZRA", is written next to it with black lettering. A bit to the right of both names are the German and Romansh readings of the value, respectively "Zweihundert Franken" and "Duatschient Francs", printed in the same direction and in the same respective colors. To the direct right of the German value is the counterfeiting notice "Banknoten sind strafrechtlich geschützt.", and next to the Romansh denomination is the text "Las bancnotas èn protegidas dal dretg penal.". The signature of the President of the Bank Council is shown underneath the caption "Der Präsident des Bankrates" at the top of the note, while that of a member of the bank's Executive Board is shown underneath the German caption "Ein Mitglied des Direktoriums" below the signature of the president. Like on the obverse, the numerical value is written at the upper right corner of the reverse. Printed at the very bottom of the note in yellow ink is the text "Jörg Zintzmeyer Z&L", which attributes Zintzmeyer as the designer of the notes. It is followed by "Orell Füssli Arts Graphiques SA Zurich", the name of the printer of Swiss banknotes, and then the French bank title "Banque nationale suisse".

A number of features were added to the banknote to combat counterfeiting. There is microprinting on the yellow portion on Ramuz's likeness on the obverse, and also in a yellow square next to the bottom-most serial number on the reverse. The printing on the obverse consists of paragraphs in French and Italian briefly describing Ramuz, while that on the reverse comprises of paragraphs in German and Romansh. A watermark similar to the image at the bottom of the obverse is present at the top right, and becomes visible when viewed against the light. The value is written along the left side of the obverse eight times. The first uses transparent ink that becomes visible when seen at the proper angle, the second is a watermark that can be seen when the note is held up to a light source, the third is printed with intaglio ink that leaves traces of ink when rubbed, the fourth uses perforated lettering that can clearly be seen as such when held up to light, the fifth is written using ink that changes color depending on the angle it is viewed from, the sixth becomes visible under ultraviolet light, the seventh is metal-coated, and under a microscope the lettering "BNS" and "SNB" can be seen; and the eighth can only be viewed when tilted at an unusual angle. In addition, the cross on the obverse and reverse is printed in the same location, three Kinegram elements and some color-changing ink are present on the obverse, and a metallic thread and two different-colored serial numbers are shown on the reverse.

In 2005 the Swiss National Bank invited twelve artists to submit designs for the ninth series of Swiss banknotes, whose initial issuance date was scheduled for 2010, but after being postponed twice the earliest projected date is 2015. Manuel Krebs' designs were initially selected, but after public disapproval those of runner-up Manuela Pfrunder were chosen instead. Like the note first issued in 1997, it will be brown in color. The new note is expected to be made of a blend of polymer and paper, and to measure 151 millimeters in height by 70 in width.