Posted by: Valentino Radman | January 10, 2012

Retrospective Exhibition by Mato Celestin Medović

Klovićevi Dvori Gallery are featuring a retrospective exhibition by the great Croatian painter Mato Celestin Medović (1857 – 1920), a painter who had many interests and whose opus consists of a wide thematic range, from religious compositions and history painting, to still life, female portraits and modern landscape painting.








He was a monk and a painter, schooled in Florence, Rome and Munich, who eventually left the Franciscan order and lived in Zagreb for some time. During that phase, he painted numerous religious pieces and historic compositions in the churches of Northern Croatia. Although he also made a great impact on Croatian modern art, and he is often regarded as one of the founders of Croatian modernism, along with renowned painter Vlaho Bukovac, his contemporaries did not always understand or accept him. That is why his place in this style of art has not been precisely defined to this day.











This exhibition, which represents the most extensive display of Medovic’s opus, finally removes certain prejudices about his role in Croatian modern painting. It features around two hundred works by this artist, which are on loan from many museums, monasteries and churches, as well as private collections. His monumental compositions featuring episodes from Croatian history are the crown of the exhibition. The public also has an opportunity to see his monumental piece “The Martyrs of Srijem”, which was believed to be lost until recently, and is nowadays considered one of the most beautiful works of Croatian painting of the 19th century. Unfortunately, taking pictures at exhibition is not allowed, so I scanned some reproductions from the accompanying catalogue. Click for enlargements.

Pope Pio X



  1. Amazing diversity for one painter!

  2. […] Medović. I learned of his work from the excellent blog of contemporary Croation artist Valentino Radman where I came across his article about a Medović retrospective earlier this year, and […]

  3. Hi, Valentino–I found your blog by accident (Underpaintings>Lines and Colors>you). My Studio Products subscription lapsed. Thanks for posting this! I’ve been beginning to look into Slavic painting history and have been amazed by the number of superlative painters whose names are barely known over here. Keep posting things like this. 😉

    • Hi Nick, glad you liked the post. I agree, there are so many Croatian artists who deserve wider recognition. I thought it was due time to rectify that. That was the main reasons for starting this blog.

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