Klovićevi dvori Gallery: Exhibition by Vlaho Bukovac Roots and Wings

The centenary of the death of Vlaho Bukovac will be celebrated in an appropriate manner: with an exhibition of a part of his oeuvre. It includes some works which have never been exhibited but it also depicts the facts of his life.

A long-awaited exhibition Roots and Wing. Vlaho Bukovac in Zagreb, Cavtat and Vienna, 1983 – 1903 will be held in the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery until 22 May 2022. The exhibition belongs to the Vlaho Bukovac in Europe exhibition series and it opened in the year which marks the centenary of the artist’s death.

This is the second of the three exhibitions dedicated to Vlaho Bukovac (born in Cavtat in 1855, died in Prague in 1922), who is one of the most prominent Croatian painters, founders and representatives of Croatian Modernism.

The topic of the currently held exhibition, the second in the series, is the life and oeuvre of Bukovac during a ten-year period in which he lived and worked in Zagreb, his native town Cavtat as well as Vienna. During his stay in Zagreb, the painter strongly influenced public life and cultural scene and acted as a mentor to generations of visual artists. They were particularly influenced by his use of colour so a generation of painters from Zagreb is referred to as the Colourful School of Zagreb. It is important to say that was the most prolific developmental period in Bukovac’ work. Zagreb is the very place where he made some of his crucial pieces. Particularly famous as a portrait painter, during that period Bukovac made portraits of members of important families who participated in the public life of the city.

The exhibition also encompasses the oeuvre created in his native town of Cavtat in which he stayed for about four years. In this picturesque town in the south of Dalmatia he painted some of his most beautiful pieces of plein air painting. The life and work of Bukovac later took him from Cavtat to Vienna in which his solo exhibition had plenty of success. This was a turning point which led to the later transfer to Prague where he worked until his death in 1922.

The exhibition in Zagreb is a chronological account not only of the painter’s work, but also of his life. It documents the time of arrival, stay and departure from mentioned cities with interesting documentary and archive material.

Works for this exhibition were collected from numerous museums and galleries in Croatia and neighbouring countries as well as private collections, owing to which the audience will be able to see some previously unknown pieces.

On the occasion of the centenary of this great artist’s death which coincides with the exhibition, an international scientific and expert gathering will take place in April this year in the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery entitled Vlaho Bukovac and his work. The gathering was organised in cooperation with the Institute of Art History in Zagreb.

The first exhibition of the three-part series, entitled Vlaho Bukovac in Paris, 1878 – 1892, was held in 2018. It included the artist’s paintings ranging from amateur beginnings in North America, his education and professional work in Paris, occasional work stays in England, as well as short but prolific breaks in his homeland.

Published: 09.03.2022