That Hermann Hesse was not only a writer but also a visual artist is just known to a few. He began painting autodidactically at the age of 40 and created an extensive oeuvre of colourful, small-format watercolours as well as poem illustrations. Thematically, he concentrated on landscape depictions of his adopted Italian home in Ticino. Born in 1919 in Calw in the Black Forest, Hesse settled in the village of Montagnola above Lake Lugano. Here he made pencil sketches or small watercolours of the surroundings on hikes. However, his illustrated manuscripts of poetry cycles are still in great demand today. They illustrate that, for Hesse, painting and writing now go almost equally side by side, penetrating each other and stimulating each other.