Posted by: Valentino Radman | June 5, 2010

Bukovac at Sotheby’s

Three days ago at Sotheby’s 19th century European paintings sale this painting by Croatian master Vlaho Bukovac was sold for £ 46.850 ($ 70.000).

The Portrait of Artist’s Daughters (15×19 inches) belongs to Bukovac’s late period,when he taught at the Academy of Art in Prague. This academic subject is expressed in a quintessentially modern manner and epitomizes the fusion of the traditional and the new that lies at the heart of Bukovac’s artistic vision. Executed with luminescent short brushstrokes, it exemplifies the pointillist technique the artist embraced after 1900.

Bukovac was one of Croatia’s leading turn-of-the-century artists. Academically trained under Alexandre Cabanel at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he remained in Paris for most of the 1880s, where he became a regular exhibitor at the annual Salon. Two trips to England in 1886 and 1888, where he worked en plein air, further contributed to the gradual lightening of his palette. On his return to Zagreb in 1893, Bukovac became the leader of a group of young artists who became known as the ‘School of Colour’, in reference to the bright, impressionistic palette he brought with him from France. Forward thinking both in his art and as an individual, he was the co-founder of the Society of Croatian artists and the instigator behind the building of the Art Pavillion in Zagreb in 1898. He exhibited at the first Vienna Secession, as well as at the Venice Biennale, before becoming a teacher at the Prague Academy.

Here is Bukovac’s portrait of sculptor Ivan Meštrović (see my previous post) from 1908.

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