Posted by: Valentino Radman | February 3, 2010

Josip Račić, an amazingly gifted artist

Josip Račić (1885-1908) was born in Zagreb, and died prematurely at only 23 years of age, in his Paris room. He was found shot, but the precise circumstances of his passing away are still unclear.
As a teenager, he studied lithography in Zagreb. In 1904 godine Račić went to Vienna, then to Munich, where he enrolled Academy, at the class of famous painter Hugo von Habermann. Račić shared class with Miroslav Kraljević, Vladimir Becić i Oskar Herman. The group was soon called “Croatian School”. Almost entire Račić’s oeuvre was created during his studies at Academy – within less than four years. He was inspired by Velásquez and Rembrandt, as well as Wilhelm Leibl, German realist painter whose works made decisive influence on Munich Academy students. However, the artist who influenced Račić’s most was Edouard Manet.

I am truly impressed by Račić’s work.

It is fascinating (and very rare) to see someone as young as Račić displaying such maturity and thorough understanding of painting as an art form. One wonders what he could have accomplished had he lived longer.

Self portraits (detail) from 1906 and 1907

Portrait of Artist’s Sister, 1907 and Charcoal study (detail), 1906

Lady in White, 1908

Portrait of Old Friend, 1907  and   Lady With the Hat, detail (1907)

Head of an Old Woman 1906  and  Man in Red Vest, 1907

Portrait of an Old Man, 1907,  and  Lady in Black, 1907

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