Note: All translations are mine unless otherwise noted.
Due to technical difficulties involving the web publishing of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, the reader will find that diacritical marks have been omitted from original-language passages.
This paper grew from a chapter in my master's thesis, "Mapping National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Croatia: The History Paintings of Vlaho Bukovac" (University of Arizona, 2004) written under the direction of Dr. Stacie Widdifield (thesis director) and Dr. Sarah Moore (second reader). It was read at the Second Annual Graduate Student Symposium, "New Looks at Nineteenth-Century Art," at the Dahesh Museum of Art, New York, in March of 2005. Many thanks for the insightful questions posed after the talk. Thanks are also due to the helpful staffs in the libraries in which the research for this paper was carried out: the European Reading Room at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; the Periodicals Reading Room at the National University Library, Zagreb, Croatia; and the Bosniak Institute, Sarajevo, Bosnia. I am indebted to Helena Puhara and Lucija Vukovic of the Vlaho Bukovac Museum Archive in Cavtat, who generously provided access to materials and organized the presentation of a version of this paper as a lecture at the Bukovac Museum in September of 2005 from which numerous helpful suggestions were generated. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Petra Chu and to Katie Rossner for the intelligent revisions to this manuscript they suggested; to Dr. Stacie Widdifield, who graciously saw this project through to its completion, and to Dr. Josh Ellenbogen.
1. So begins the translation printed in the Zagreb paper, Narodne Novine, of an article by the editor of the Berlin paper, Das Volk. "Njemacki glas o hrvatskoj izlozbi," Narodne Novine no. 167 (1896), 4:
Hrvatska i Slavonija – koji ce Niemac pri tom misliti na sto drugo, van na "Hrvate i pandure", koji su nam u 7-godisnjem ratu toliko jada zadavali, i na Slovake, sto prodaju misolovke? Kod nas se o drzavama, sto onamo leze prama Balkanu, neznade mnogo vise, vec da su zaista tamo. … Njihovom zemljom proputovati, o tom nemisli nitko, ako se mozda nenadje bas osobito bogat i strastven lovac, kojemu se hoce u prasumama i divljem gorju loviti na medvede i subove…
Narodne Novine prefaces the translation with a disclaimer stating that it chose to print the article because it is full of praise for Croatia despite how full it is of untruths and superficiality. My thanks to Vera Kruzic-Uchytil, who brings attention to the quote in her, "Prvi nastupi hrvatskih umjetnika na medjunarodnoj umjetnickoj sceni od 1896 do 1903 godine," Peristil 31 (1998), 195.
My thanks to Dr. Olga Nedeljkovic, who graciously hunted down the etymology of the obsolete word "subove" in the above quote (acc. pl. of "sub"), translated here as "furry animals." As Max Vasmer's, Russisches Etymologisches Worterbuch, vol. 3 (Heidelberg, 1958), 433, outlines, the word must be a borrowing received through either middle high German ("Schube, Schoube") or new high German ("Schaube") and adopted into a number of Slavic languages to denote fur.
The seven-years war took place from 1756–1763. The Oxford English Dictionary describes the historic term, "pandour" (pandur, in Croatian) as: "1a: A member of a military force originally organized in Croatia in 1741 by Baron Franz von Trenck (1711–49) to clear the country near the Turkish border of robbers, and later enrolled as a regiment in the Austrian army, becoming renowned for their ferocity and brutality. Hence more generally: a fearsome or brutal soldier from Croatia; in Hungary, Croatia, and other parts of Eastern Europe: a guard. 1b: an armed servant or retainer; a member of a local constabulary." In its modern usage, pandur simply means policeman. The context of the quote makes it clear that "pandour" is being used in its historic sense.
"Civil Croatia" and "Civil Slavonia" were the formal titles of the two Croatian lands referred to in the quote. For the sake of simplicity, I will refer to them as simply "Croatia" throughout the text.
2. The Millennial Exhibition was held from May 2 – October 31, 1896
3. One exception was the Grand International Exhibition in Trieste of 1882, in which Croatia had one separate pavilion that seems to have housed mostly exhibitions of industry. For a description of the pavilion, see "Umjetnost: Hrvatski pavillon za trscansku izlozbu," Hrvatska Vila no. 5 (1882), 111.
4. In the paragraph following the opening quote, the editor of Das Volk continues by overturning the myths his countrymen hold true about Croatia, namely, about the brutality of soldiers and the ethnicity of mouse-trap sellers, neatly taking a stab at Hungary. "Njemacki glas," 4:
The Croats send soldiers who are scarcely discernable from the recruits of the "civilized" nations to the battlefields today, and those little people who trade in mousetraps, who we believe are typical inhabitants of Slavonia because we are ignorant of them, do not even come from Slavonia, but rather the north-eastern parts of Hungary. (Hrvati salju danas vojni materijal na poprista, koji se jedva razlikuje od rekruta "civiliziranih" zemalja, a oni malisi, sto trguju misolovkami, koje drzimo za tipicne stanovnike Slavonjie, jer inih nepoznajemo, niti nepoticu iz Slavonije, nego iz sjeveroiztocnih dielova Ugarske.)
In the same article, he devotes two full paragraphs to the exhibition of Croatian art, praising, in particular, Vlaho Bukovac's oil sketch for the curtain in the new National Theater in Zagreb, "Glory to Them." He likes "Glory to Them" for its technique and because it shows the people something they can be proud of, and was extremely glad to find an explanation of the painting translated into German, which was not the case, he notes, in the Hungarian exhibition of art.
5. Interest in the 1896 Millennial Exhibition was revived in Hungary in 1996 at the one hundred-year anniversary of the Millennium exhibition. Because it was a national exhibition, the fair has not been included in the various indexes of World's Fairs produced in response to growing scholarly interest in these exhibitions in English-language scholarship. There are no studies written in English that look at the Croatian participation in this fair.
My interpretation of the Croatian pavilion is indebted to Dr. Vera Kruzic-Uchytil, an expert historian of nineteenth-century Croatian art. Her article, "Prvi nastupi hrvatskih umjetnika na medjunarodnoj umjetnickoj sceni od 1896 do 1903 godine," traces the group of artists influenced by Vlaho Bukovac known as the "Zagreb school" from its inception and tour of international exhibitions and world's fairs in Europe from the 1896 to 1903. Kruzic-Uchytil notes the enthusiastic support from home the artists initially received as warriors for the Croatian cause to their demonization as modernist foreign agitators. See Kruzic-Uchytil, "Prvi nastupi.". She has also published monographs of some of the artists who participated in the Millennial Exhibition, which contain invaluable information. Kruzic-Uchytil's Vlaho Bukovac: Zivot i Djelo (Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1968), continues to be the most authoritative and comprehensive source on the artist. It has been recently republished in an expAndjed edition under the same title (Zagreb: Nakladni Zavod Globus, 2005). See also Andje Kapicic's Bukovac i Crna Gora (Cetinje: Matica crnogorska, 2002) which revisits the artist's relationship with Montenegro. Igor Zidic's recent exhibition catalogue contains new, insightful interpretations of the artist's work: Vlaho Bukovac (Zagreb: Moderna Galerija, 2000). Also see his recent catalogue: Hrvatsko moderno 1880-1945. u privatnim zbirkama (Zagreb: Galerija Deci, 2006).
6. Twenty-nine of the 85 paintings on display were Bukovac's. See the section "Umjetnost i Vjestine" in Kraljevine Hrvatska i Slavonija na Tisucgodisnoj Zemaljskoj Izlozbi Kraljevine Ugarske u Budimpesti 1896 ( Zagreb: Tiskarski Zavod "Narodnih Novina," 1896), 1–3.
According to Kruzic-Uchytil, Bukovac angered certain Croatian officials, who wanted as many works included as possible, by eliminating a number of paintings in the interest of creating "the impression of a whole." See Kruzic-Uchytil, "Prvi nastupi," 194 n. 4. The emphasis on quantity can be gleaned from a number of contemporary journal publications. For example, the first story in Narodne Novine (no. 89 , 4) about the Croatian art exhibition states that: "… the exhibition will be truly large for our circumstances, so that it will also serve the honor of our young artistic development in a qualitative sense. (…da ce izlozba biti za nase prilike dosta velika, te da ce i u kvalitetnom pogledu sluziti na cast nasem mladom umjetnickom razvitku.)"
One should take into consideration that Bukovac's Parisian experience contributed to his desire to create the impression of a "whole" with the exhibition of Croatian art. See Martha Ward, "Impressionist Installations and Private Exhibitions," Art Bulletin 73 (December 1991): 599–622.
7. Translation of an article from the Austrian, Allgemeine Kunstchronik, in the Zagreb paper Obzor. "O hrvatskom slikarstvo," Obzor no. 149 (1896), 3. The full paragraph reads as follows:
The following article has appeared in the twelfth volume of "Allgemeine Kunstchronik," 'The Budapest exhibit too has its secession, which is not a true one coming out of artistic principles, but from political principles. The secessionists are the Croats. They've been given their own pavilion, where they've arranged a special gallery of paintings alongside other cultural products.' (U 12. svezku 'Allgemeine Kunstchronik' izasao je ovaj clanak: 'I pestanska izlozba ima svoju secesiju, koja nije istina bog nastala iz umjetnickih principa, nego iz politickih obzira. Secesioniste su Hrvati. Njima je dodijeljen posebni paviljon, gdje su uz ostale kulturne proizvode svoju po sebnu galeriju slika uredili.')
Part of the reason that the journal may not have seen the "Croatian secession" arising from artistic motives is that art critics were already very familiar with the work of one of the artists, Mato Celestin Medovic (1857–1920); indeed some of the paintings he showed in Budapest had been seen earlier at Munich exhibitions.
8. A notice in Narodne Novine about the Croatian artists' invitation to participate the following year in an international art exhibition in Copenhagen fixes upon the importance of having a separate pavilion "in which, if they accept [the invitation], there will be a separate hall. (u kojoj ce biti za njih, ako se odazovu, rezervirana posebna dvorana.) ." "Nasih umjetnici izvan domovine," Narodne Novine no. 251 (1896), 2.
9. Ferdinand Quiquerez's large oil painting (300 x 200 cm.), Arrival of the Croatians (Dolazak Hrvata), was made two years after a painting of the same theme by his teacher, the German Hungarian painter Joseph Franz Mücke (1819–1883). Mücke's proto-Croatians, however, arrived in a wooded landscape of continental Croatia. Other painters after Quiquerez who painted the Arrival theme—always situated in Dalamatia—include Mato Celestin Medovic (1903) and Oton Ivekovic (1905). See Marijana Schneider, Historijsko slikarstvo u Hrvatskoj (Zagreb: Povijesni Muzej Hrvatske, 1969). Also see a poem inspired by the painting published in the Zagreb magazine, Vienac, by Fr. Ciraki, in which the poet connects the rivers of continental Croatia to the Adriatic sea, claiming all these bodies of water for the Croatian people: "Dolazak Hrvata na obalu sinjega mora," Vienac no. 41 (1870), 648.
10. The Vojna Krajna (Military Frontier) represented a particularly sore spot for Croatians, who petitioned for its incorporation into Croatia throughout the 19th century. During the late 16th and 17th centuries, the depopulated land along the border between the Ottoman Empire, (mainly modern-day Bosnia-Herzegovina), and Croatia began to be settled by Vlachs, predominantly of the Eastern Orthodox faith, who had been brought there by the Ottomans to colonize the border. The Vojna Krajna constituted a territory almost equal in size to Civil Croatia, and was given autonomy by the Hapsburgs early on because of the essential role it played as a buffer zone between the two empires. In 1630, the Vlach Statutes granted the land of the military frontier to the Vlachs absolutely, and it was organized into a separate Austrian province although it was technically on Croatian lands. The inhabitants were independent from the feudal system, freed from paying Church tithes as in Croatia, and also enjoyed religious freedom, making it an attractive place to live. See Ivo Goldstein, Croatia: A History (London: C. Hurst, 1999), 56–57.
11. Ibid., 40–41.
12. See, for example, these two excerpts from the literary magazine, Slovinac, which was published in Dubrovnik from 1878–1884. "The pure Dubrovnik dialect is today spoken only in Cavtat In the other outlying areas it is changing from day to day… (Cisto se dubrovacki i danas govori samo u Cavtatu, po ostalom se predjelu mijenja od dana do dana…)." "Dubrovacki dijalekat," Slovinac no. 17 (1883), 271; "Valtasar Bogisic was born in 1834 or 1835 in old Cavtat, in that little town where our old customs and the Dubrovnik dialect are better maintained than in Dubrovnik itself. (Valtasar Bogisic rodio se god. 1834 ili 1835 u starom Cavtatu, u onoj varosici gdje se nasi stari obicaji i dubrovacki dijalekt bolje uzdrze nego u samom Dubrovniku.)" "Valtasar Bogisic," Slovinac no.2 (1880), 27. Valtasar Bogisic (1834–1908) was a famous man of letters, historian, and lawmaker.
13. Napoleon's army invaded Dalmatia in 1806. Dubrovnik relinquished its independence in 1808.
14. See, for example, this impassioned declaration at the end of an article by the famous Croatian writer and editor August Senoa, that describes a new painting in the collection of the Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer. The painting in question is Bukovac's early amateur work, The Young Sultaness (1877), which Bukovac had sent to Strossmayer in gratitude for a sum of money which saw him off to Paris. "Oh Zagreb! Zagreb! You intend to take the name of our celebrated Dubrovnik and call yourself our Athens… (O Zagrebu! Zagrebu! ti kanis preuzeti zvanje slavnoga nasega Dubrovnika i nazvati se nasom Athenom…)." August Senoa, "Nove slike u galeriji preuzvisenog biskopa Strossmayer," Vienac no. 21 (1877), 338.
15. Translation of an article from the Budapest paper, Neuer Pester Journal, printed as "Hrvatski umjetnicki paviljon u Budimpesti," in: Narodne Novine no. 154 (1896), 5:
Ali o hrvatskoj umjetnosti do sada zaista nijesmo ni sanjali. … Istina je, da se ovdje uredjenje posebnog hrvatskog umjetnickog paviljona pratilo s malo povjerenja. A sada smo vrlo ugodno izenadjeni, jer sto smo drzali samo pokusom, pokazalo se je nepobitnim, podpunim uspjehom.
16. The exhibition of Croatian art at the 1896 Millennial Exposition at Budapest was the culmination of more than a half-century's work to cultivate a national art as a means to achieving the universal value of civilization in the eyes of Western Europe. Poets, aristocrats and intellectuals had been quietly dreaming of exhibiting "Croatian art" before the eyes of the world since the time of the Illyrian movement of the 1830's. One particularly vivid record of late nineteenth-century Croatia's particular vision of art in the manufacture of nation at home and abroad is an anonymous article (signed by "M.") in the Zagreb magazine Vienac, entitled "It's About Time," in which the author argues for investing in art. Such an investment, as could be seen from the examples of Italy and France, was the best path to national self-awareness, (in the Italian case, enabling Unification) and world recognition. M., "Skrajnje je vrieme," Vienac no. 7 (1874), 111–12 and no. 8 (1874), 124–26.
17. An article published in the Zagreb magazine, Prosvjeta, credits the artists with doing great work to enlighten the prejudiced Hungarians. "but our artists forced that [Hungarian] press not only to write about us more fairly, but to acknowledge our exceptional ability, highly-developed taste and solid endeavors, so that we could show ourselves on a healthy foundation without discussing things blindly. For this success… we congratulate the worthy artist[s] and their Croatian people." ("pak su nasi umjetnici i tu stampu prisilili, da o nama ne pise samo pravednije, nego da nam priznaje vanrednu sposobnost, visoko razvijeni ukus i solidno nastojanje, da se na zdravoj podlozi bez sljeparije prikazemo. Na ovom uspjehu … cestitamo vriednim umjetnikom a i hrvatskomu narodu." ) "Uspjeh nasih umjetnika," Prosvjeta no. 11 (1896), 351.
The Russians also noted the importance of Hungarian recognition in an article translated from the Moscow paper, Ruskija Vjedomosti. "I'll now speak about the [Croatian] artistic section, which according to the admission of the Hungarians themselves [my emphasis] and foreigners makes up on of the most beautiful adornments of the fair. (Zadrzati cu se sada samo kod umjetnickog odjela, koji po prizanju samih Magjara i stranaca sacinjava jednu od najljepsih uresa izlozbe. )" "Ruso hrvatskoj izlozbi," Narodne Novine no. 180 (1896), 2.
18. Maria Todorova, Imagining the Balkans (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 60.
19. For an examination of Hevesi's career, see Ilona Sármany-Parsons, "Ludwig Hevesi—mehr als ein Österreichisch-ungarischer Kunstkritiker, Chronist und Wegbereiter," Alte und moderne Kunst 203 (1985) 30–31.
20. Translation of an article by Ludwig Hevesi in the Budapest paper Pester Lloyd, published as "Hrvatska umjenost," in Narodne Novine No. 160 (1896), 4: "plein-air-slikarstva slavi prave orgije. Dva rodjena Dalmatinca izticu se ondje, ceka ih bez sumnje svjetska slava… Jedan je Celestin Medovic, koga poznajemo iz Monakova, drugi Vlaho Bukovac, Cabanelov ucenik iz Pariza." My thanks to Kruzic-Uchytil, who brings attention to the article in her "Prvi nastupi," 194.
21. On the various compromises between academicism and independent styles such as romanticism throughout the nineteenth century, see Albert Boime, The Academy and French Painting in the Nineteenth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971), especially chapter 1, "The Crystallization of French Official Art," 1–21; Patricia Mainardi, The End of the Salon: Art and the State in the Early Third Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993) especially 92–121 on the assimilation of modernist trends in the Academic Triennal of 1883; and, finally, the despicable, fictional character of Fagerolles in Emil Zola's novel, L'Oeuvre, Thomas Walton, trans. (London: Paul Elek, 1950).
22. Gundulic held Poland in the highest esteem as the perfect model of a free and Catholic Slavic nation and Osman is generally interpreted within the contexts of Slavophilism and the Counter-Reformation. See Zdenko Zlatar, The Slavic Epic: Gundulic's Osman (New York: P. Lang, 1995).
23. Criticism at home, in Croatia, also tended to describe Bukovac's style as non-academic. See, for example, Sandor-Gjalski, "Umjetnicka izlozba u Zagrebu – Decembar 1894. i januar 1895," Vienac no. 3 (1895), 43. "The painting [Dubravka] is characterized by its richness of colors—beautifully brought together in harmony, and, nevertheless, not taking on even for a moment any academic unnaturalness, falsity or molds. (Slika se odlikuje bogatstvom boja—krasno svedenih u harmoniju, a da ipak ova harmonija niti caskom ne prima nista od akademijske neprirodnosti, neistine i sablone.)"
24. Bukovac espoused his belief in traditional painting practices based on the academic training he received under Cabanel. He exhibited alongside his teacher, Cabanel, at the Triennal exhibition of 1883. His feelings about this and modernist trends (Impressionism, of which he was a great admirer, excluded) are described in this passage from his autobiography:
To learn from antiquity is the same as finding the secrets of plastic beauty. To penetrate into the harmony and proportions of the human body, as into the magnificent rules of line: that is to understand ancient Greek art—and all art. […]
It is a shame that people are increasingly neglecting the study of antiquity. .Furthermore, the current teachers want to save the individuality of their students. But it doesn't work, because in that way they raise the new generation without any experience or knowledge. Without traditions there is no development and increasingly just some monsters that belong to no one, christened with many names. The majority of the young modern painters rebelled into "cubists," "expressionists" and "orfeists." They humiliate beauty, ruin nature and of their own will destroy even the smallest sprout of art, like some sort of barbarians, who devastate the learned Greeks. In Paris in my time at least it was like that. Antiquity was the foundation upon which the greatest Gallic artists built.
(Uciti antiku isto je to i naci tajnu plasticne ljepote. Proniknuti u harmoniju i u proporcije ljudskog tijela, kao i u prosti velicanstveni zakon linije: to znaci shvatiti staru grcku umjetnosti—a i svu umjetnosti. [...]
Zlo je, da se sve vise zanemaruje ucenje antike. I tim kao da hoce sadasnji ucitelji, da sacuvaju individualnost djaka. Ali posao im ne valja, jer na taj nacin uzgajaju se nova pokoljena bez ikakvog ukusa i znanja. Bez tradicije nema ni razvitka i tako sve vise nicu neka cudovista, sto ih okrstise raznim imenima. Vecina modernih mladih slikara odmetnula se u "kubiste," "expressioniste" i "orfeiste." Ponizise ljepotu, iznakazise prirodu i samovoljom unistise svaku, pa i najmanju klicu umjetnosti, kao nekoc varvari, koji opustosise vaspitanu Grcku. U Parizu je to barem za mojih vremena inace bilo. Antika je bila temelj, na komu su gradili najveci galski umjetnici.) Vlaho Bukovac, "Real
Art and Real School," in Moj Zivot (Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1992) 132–33.
25. Bukovac's relationship to the Academic tradition was interpreted differently in Central Europe than it would have been in France. On the French context, see Marc Gotlieb's, The Plight of Emulation: Ernest Meissonier and French Salon Painting (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996) which exposes how fraught with tension and central the questions of copying and originality were within the French tradition. Also see Mainardi, The End of the Salon for a discussion of the political aspects of adhering to or breaking with tradition.
26. On the difference of Bacchanalia from subsequent work by Medovic, see, for example, F. Cherubin Segvic, "Zagreb, augusta 1896," in the Sarajevo magazine, Nada no. 17 (1896), 335–36:
No, I don't think that Medovic is fully a follower of the Munich school, [the character of] which is obvious only in his [painting] "Bacchanalia," in which prominent coloring is evident—that German "grau" [grey]can be seen right away. However,.he has recently emancipated himself from that school... (Nu ja mislim da ni Medovic ne slijedi sasvim monakovsku skolu, koja je ocita samo u "Bakanalima," gdje je ocevidno istaknuta osobina kolorita; onaj njemacki "grau" vidi se odmah, ali u potonje vrijeme on se je emancipirao od te svoje skole...)
Another instance of Medovic's painting (the painting in question is again Bacchanalia) being "known" is found in "O hrvatskom slikarstvo," 3. "Even in this little exhibition not everything is totally new. Who doesn't remember, for example, the first appearance of the Croatian painter, Celestin Medovic, in the glass palace (in Munich)? (Pa ni u ovoj maloj izlozbi nije bas sve sasvim novo. Tko se ne sjeca n. pr. prve pojave hrv. slikara Celest. Medovica u staklenoj palaci[u Münchenu])? "
27. Segvic, "Zagreb, augusta 1896," 335–36.
28. Bukovac's journey to obtain his artistic training beyond the German-speaking Academies of Vienna or Munich to Paris was rare among artists from the Croatian lands. Being from Austria-Hungary, his training in the French capital was done without the support of a government stipend. Some of the styles and lifestyles Bukovac brought home from Paris that became carriers of marked difference from the officially safe "German" style include his formation of a "school" of painting focused on plein-air, and his insistence that the city of Zagreb build studios for the artists. On the training of Croatian artists in the nineteenth century, see Schneider, Historijsko slikarstvo and Grgo Gamulin, Hrvatsko slikarstvo XIX Stoljeca (Zagreb: Naprijed, 1995). The majority of these artists trained at the Academies of Vienna or Munich. A good number of artists from Dalmatia continued to train in Italy (usually Venice), although Dalmatia was no longer part of the Venetian Republic as of its collapse at the end of the eighteenth century. The population continued to have strong ties with Italy and Italian continued to be spoken as an official language while under Austrian administration. Bukovac's first instinct, in fact, was to train in Rome.
29. "Hrvatska umjenost," 4: "no Bukovac je samostalniji majstor… On je tako oktretan, da bi se i onda namah mogao snaci, kad bi danasnja plein-air moda okrenula na protivno. On je pravi analitik suncanog svijetla, iz koga vadi mnogo efekta." Hevesi's invocation of the effects of sunlight bears similarity to Edmond Duranty's discussion of Impressionist painting in his essay, "The New Painting," reproduced in translation in Art in Theory: 1815-1900, ed. Charles Harrison and Paul Wood with Jason Gaiger (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998), 577–85.
30. "Hrvatska umjetnost," 4: "I njega privlaci i mami zagonetka ljudske nagosti, i on ju na svoj vlastiti nacin riesava, jer toga nije naucio od Cabanela."
In Obzor's slightly different translation of the article, Hevesi explicitly gives credit to Cabanel for giving Bukovac a good foundation upon which he could build his originality. This translation uses "skin" in place of "the nude." "Vlaho Bukovac," Obzor no. 160 (1896), 3: "Bukovac is personally attracted to the eternal mystery of skin, which can be resolved in so many different painterly ways. He has his own sense for this [resolving the eternal mysteries of skin] and his own instinct for "savoir faire." He did not learn this from Cabanel, but at least he was put on a good path towards clear painting [with Cabanel]. Vjecna zagonetka puti, sto no se na tako razlicne nacine slikarski dade riesiti, pak umjetnike uviek ponovno podrazuje, osobito privlaci i Bukovca. A on ima zato vlastiti njuh, pa i vlastiti instinct za "savoir faire." Kod Cabanela nije to naucio, ali barem je ondje bio na dobrom putu k jasnom slikanju."
The "mystery of skin," illuminated by the strong southern sun, is certainly the major attraction in Gundulic's Dream. A description of the painting by Ksaver Sandor-Gjalski, writing in Vienac on the occasion of seeing the painting in an exhibition organized by Bukovac in Zagreb prior to the Millennial Exhibition, also illustrates of the conditions of work for artists in that city (although he is wrong about Bukovac painting it in Zagreb—the artist worked on Gundulic's Dream in Paris as well).
"On the lovely edge of the coast, illuminated by the glow and radiance of the southern summer… is the poet, Gundulic. […] Only with the anatomical aspect [in the painting] am I not completely satisfied. Namely, the breasts seem to me to be too womanly and not girlish enough. Also, a sameness of form rules the breasts. Almost all of Sokolica's [a character in the poem] group has the same breasts—and not the most beautiful ones—although nature is rich and diverse in [this part of the bodies of] women. The blame does not lie so much with the artist as in the fact that he had to work on it entirely in a little town [Zagreb] where there are not yet any models, so that he could barely find—God willing—just one body. (U krasnoj primorskoj krajini, osvietljonoj zarom i sjajem juznoga ljeta… – pjesnik Gundulica. […] 9: Tek s anatomske strane … nijesam posve udovoljan. Grudi mi se naime cine prije svega – suvise zenske a premalo djevojacke – i – previse vlada jednolicnost forme u sisama. Gotovo cijela Sokolicina druzba ima jednake grudi – i ne bas najljepse grudi – a ipak priroda u tom zenskom casu toliko je bogata i raznolika! No – to ne ce biti razlog u umjetniku, koliko u tome, sto je umjetnik za cijelo morao raditi u malom gradu, gdje jos modela nema, te se za silu moze naci – daj Bog – jedno jedito celjade.)" Sandor-Gjalski, "Umjetnicka izlozba," 8–9:
31. See, for example, "Rus o hrvatskoj izlozbi," 2: "The first place among the artists, whose products are exhibited here, falls without doubt to the Dalmatian, Bukovac… the foreground of his painting, Long Live the King!, is filled with the blinding flash of the southern sun. (Prvo mjesto medju umjetnici, ciji su proizvodi ovdje izlozeni, pripada bez dvojbe Dalmatincu Bukovacu … a prvi dio njegove slike: "Zivio kralj!" sav je zaliven zasliepljujucem bljeskom juznog sunca.) It is almost as if the critic finds Bukovac to be bringing his Dalmatian sun with him in his painting, for the sun in continental Zagreb, in which the painting is situated, is anything but southern and blinding. Hevesi also ruminates about the artist's seemingly overly-abundant love of the sun. "Vlaho Bukovac," Obzor, 3: "Among Bukovac's portraits, the portrait of the King takes the highest place. He [Hevesi; here the newspaper momentarily puts Hevesi in third person] only wants to know why it is that the artist illuminated him so brightly, as if he were standing under the noon sun. (Medju portretima Bukovcevim stoji na najvisem mjestu portret kraljev u krasnoj crvenoj uniformi. Pita se samo, zasto ga je umjetnik tako sjajno osvietlio, kao da stoji pod podnevnim suncem.)"
32. See, for example, Karl Baedeker, Austria-Hungary, Including Dalmatia and Bosnia: Handbook for Travelers (Leipzig: Karl Baedeker, 1905).
33. It would be too strong to argue that critics claim outright that the plein-air style is Dalmatian; it is rather in the slip-shod putting together of the two categories, plein-air and Dalmatian, that the confusion occurs. Confusion was not universal. In a review published in the Bosnian illustrated magazine, Nada, F. Cherubin Segvic clearly recognizes Bukovac's style as French ("Zagreb, augusta 1896," 335): "Medovic and Bukovac represent our two schools, the first German (of Munich) and the second French. Some like the first better, some the second; in the end it is a question of taste. (Medovic i Bukovac prestavljaju u nas dvije skole, prvi njemacku (monakovsku), drugi francusku. Nekima se svigja prva, nekima druga; najzad je to pitanje ukusa.)" F. Ch. Segvic, "Zagreb, augusta 1896," Nada no. 17 (1896),335.
34. My interpretation of the symbolic role of Dalmatia in Croatian culture is indebted to Ivo Banac's, "Ministration and Desecration: The Place of Dubrovnik in Modern Croat National Ideology and Political Culture," Nation and Ideology: Essays in Honor of Wayne S. Vucinich (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), 149–75.
35. The new National Theater in Zagreb was part of the broad transformation and modernization of the growing city of Zagreb. It was erected by the popular Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, who built nearly half of all new theater buildings in turn-of-the-century Central Europe. As in many cities in Europe and the Americas, the last decades of the nineteenth century marked a period of major changes and modernization in the growing capital city of Zagreb. Among them were the founding and building of new cultural institutions, such as the new National Theater, in eclectic architectural styles, the creation of parks and new squares and the shifting of the city center from the old medieval quarters to the new part of town connected to the train station. See Vladimir Bedenko, "The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb," in: Jacek Purchla, ed., Theater Architecture of the Late 19th Century in Central Europe (Krakow: International Cultural Centre, 1993), 65–72.
36. For a study of the Illyrian movement, see Elinor Murray Despalatovic, Ljudevit Gaj and the Illyrian Movement (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975). The Illyrian Movement of the 1830s and 1840s was the first major wave of national revival in nineteenth-century Croatia. Its leader was Ljudevit Gaj (1809–1872). The adjective Illyrian came from the name of the Roman province of Illyricum, and was intended to unite all the South Slavic speakers in the western territory of the Balkan region under one name. However, it remained mainly a Croatian movement and ideal, largely ignored by both the neighboring Serbs and Slovenes.
The intention of the idealistic Zagreb-based Illyrian movement was to unite all the Southern Slavs into a group large enough to be able to finally resist Austria-Hungary's hold on them. Language standardization was the main contribution of the Illyrians in the struggle for cultural and political unification in Croatia. Choosing the stokavski dialect of South Slavic spoken in Dubrovnik (used by the Renaissance and Baroque poets of Dalmatia, including Djivo Gundulic, who was among the most celebrated by the Illyrians) for the standard language of Croatia meant choosing a language symbolic of freedom and high culture. A common past and linguistic unity would tie the regions together into one, larger territory. If the inhabitants of both Croatia-Slavonia and Dalmatia spoke the same language, surely they should live together in one sovereign kingdom. (The variation in the orthography of the various nineteenth-century sources reproduced in their original spelling in my footnotes bears witness to the extent to which the Croatian language was still under construction.) The promotion in Zagreb of Dalmatian literature, plays, heroes, the cult of the city of Dubrovnik and its poets such as Gundulic, created the groundwork for unity in fragmented Croatia.
During the time of the Illyrian movement there was a great production of craft and applied arts. Clothing, dinnerware, clocks and fans featuring the crescent moon and star, which was the Roman symbol of Illyria, were mass-produced. See Niksa Stancic, ed., Hrvatski Narodni Preporod 1790-1848: Hrvatska u Vrjieme Ilirskog Pokreta (Zagreb: Muzej za Umjetnost i Obrt, 1985). Professional painters in Croatia at that time were few and far between, and painting production during the Illyrian movement, with the exception of the work of the tragic figure of Vjekoslav Karas, (see Nikola Albaneze, Vjekoslav Karas (Zagreb: Umjetnicki Paviljon, 2003), was generally limited to portraiture. It was not until much later in the nineteenth century that painters in Croatia, such as Vlaho Bukovac, would give the movement and its ideals heroic form in the genre of history painting.
37. Gundulic's plays were frequently performed in Zagreb and a pilgrimage to Dubrovnik, with a visit to the poet's house, was popular among intellectuals. See Banac, "Ministration and Desecration," 151.
38. William Brooks Tomljanovich, "Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer: Nationalism and Modern Catholicism in Croatia" (Ph.D. diss, Yale University, 1997), 334.
39. See, for example, "Valtasar Bogisic," Slovinac no. 2 (1880), 27: "The most common complaint among we Dubrovchans and the foreigners who get to know us is of our laziness and carelessness, our offense becomes even more forceful when one compares our life today with the energetic work of our ancestors three or four-hundred years ago during the best period of the Republic of Dubrovnik. (Opca je tuzba i kod nas Dubrovcana i tugjinaca kad se s nama sponzaju, na nasu ljenost i nemarljivost; jos jace upada u oci taj nas veliki grijeh, kad se usporedi nas danasnji zivot s energicnom radinosti nasih starijeh nazad trista cetirista godina u najbolje doba dubrovacke republike.)"
40. Banac, "Ministration and Desecration," 150.
41. Senoa, "Nove slike," 338.
42. Sandor-Gjalski, "Umjetnicka izlozba u Zagrebu," 44: "Gundulic je svojom "Dubravkom" slavio Dubrovnik i njegovu slobodu, a Bukovceva slika … jasno i glasno slavi velecinu Dubrovnika, mocnim i zivnim crtama podize slavnoj Atini hrvatskoga duha spomenik…[…] A divni grad nas na zalu Adrije moze sretan biti, sto je rodio takva dva sina, koji ga tako slave i proslavljuju."
43. Pier-Francesco Martecchini, Galleria di Ragusei illustri (Ragusa: P.F. Martecchini, 1841). Bukovac also apparently made a certain number of small models of the heads from which to better study the portraits from various angles. Ivanka Bukovac, "Uspomene na mog Oca Vlaha Bukovca" (Unpublished text in the archives of the Vlaho Bukovac Museum, Cavtat 1976), 18–19.
44. The painting was commissioned by Isador Krsnjavi. The precise conditions of the commission—Bukovac was charged with the task of depicting thirty personages within the proscribed dimensions for the painting (300 x 216 cm)—explain partially why the composition is so crowded. Kruzic-Uchytil, Vlaho Bukovac, 217.
45. "Nasih umjetnici," 2: "kao svjedoci umjetnickog razvitka u Hrvatskoj od novijeg doba." Along with Dubravka, the Szepmuveszeti Museum in Budapest also bought one painting by Medovic and one by Bukovac's young colleague, Bela Cikos-Sesija (1864–1931). On the purchase of Croatian paintings by the the Szepmuveszeti Museum in Budapest during the 1896 Exhibition, see Ferenc Matits, "Hrvatske slike 19. stoljeca u Muzeju likovnih umjetnosti u Budimpesti," Zivot umjetnosti 31, no. 58 (1996), 124–29.
46. See footnote 17.
47. Kruzic-Uchytil, "Prvi Nastupi," 194.
48. Bukovac, Moj Zivot, 174.
49. The cultural patrimony of Dubrovnik was passed on to Zagreb not only symbolically, through paintings, but also in the living body of Bukovac himself. The artist's physical presence in the capital facilitated a transfer of culture, through the act of teaching, from the coast to continental Croatia. He passed on his experience and patrimony to the younger artists, all of whom were from the northern territories of Croatia and Slavonia. The register of contemporary artists showing in the Croatian Pavilion of Art and History, lists 20 painters and 6 sculptors. All are from parts of Hungarian Croatia-Slavonia, especially Zagreb and Osijek (six artists from each), with the exception of Bukovac, Medovic and Rendic. Their regional provenance is made clear in the entries, by stating that place of birth is in Dalmatia in the case of Medovic and Rendic, and the association of Cavtat (as "Old Dubrovnik") to Dubrovnik in the case of Bukovac. Author, Kraljevine Hrvatske i Slavonia, 1–3
50. Vera Kruzic-Uchytil, Mato Celestin Medovic (Zagreb: Graficki Zavod Hrvatske, 1978), 29.
51. Kruzic-Uchytil, "Prvi Nastupi," 194
52. Kruzic-Uchytil, "Prvi Nastupi," 194.
53. It is unclear, however, whether the decision to transport the Art Pavilion to Zagreb at the close of the Millennial Exposition was due to Bukovac's insistence. He sought and obtained a guarantee from the government that the Croatian artists in Pest would exhibit in a separate pavilion, under Croatian name and flag. It is impossible to be sure from the quote above whether "seizing" the pavilion and "the pavilion or we don't exhibit" refer to simply exhibiting in a separate building from the Hungarians or physically possessing it at the end of the fair. It is certain though that the decision to move the pavilion to Zagreb was made before the Exhibition opened in Budapest, and that Bukovac knew that decision was official.
In this newspaper clipping from two years later in 1898, we find yet another variation of the story. Here, Bukovac is credited with the idea for seizing the pavilion, while a Dr. Malin, advisor to the Croatian Ban, Is credited with "remembering" to build the thing in iron in Budapest so that it might be easily transported to Zagreb after the close of the Millennial Exposition. "Umjetnicki Paviljon," Obzor (March, 1898), newspaper clipping in the Archives of the Vlaho Bukovac Museum, Cavtat, Croatia:
On the occasion of the Millennial Exposition in Budapest they called our artists to exhibit their creations there. Mr. Bukovac used that occasion to point out to the Ban's advisor, Dr. I. Malin, how it would be a necessity, that there would be a building here [in Zagreb], where exhibitions could be organized. Mr. Malin remembered this and said that it would be best that the Croatian Art Pavilion be realized in an iron construction, which could be carried after the Millennial Exposition to Zagreb. That here with the help of that construction a building could be erected for the purposes of our art. (Prigodom milenijske izlozbe u Pesti pozvase nase umjetnike, da tamo izloze svoje tvorine. Tu priliku upotriebi g. Bukovac, te predoci banskom savjetniku, dru. I. Malinu, kako bi nuzdno bilo, da ovdje imade zgrada, gdje bi se mogle redovito priredjivati izlozbe. Sjeti se na to gosp. Malin i rece, da bi najbolje bilo, kad bi se hrvatski umjetnicki paviljon za pestansku izlozbu izveo zeljeznom konstrukcijom, koja bi se mogla prenieti poslije milenijske izlozbe u Zagreb. Ovdje da se onda s pomocu te konstrukcije podigne zgrada za svrhe nase umjetnosti.)
In the official guide to the Hungarian Millennial, it is stated that after, "the close of the Exhibition it [the Croatian Art Pavilion] will be re-erected at Agram [Zagreb] as a permanent Exhibition." (See Julius Laurencic, The Millennium of Hungary and the National Exhibition (Budapest: William Kunosy and Son, 1896) 148). The Croatian Forestry Pavilion was also meant to be moved to Zagreb at the close of the fair, to "be there re-erected as a permanent museum of forestry" (Laurencic, The Millennium, 150) which points to a larger scheme of pavilion re-location that Bukovac certainly was not responsible for. Today, however, there is no "Museum of Forestry" in Zagreb, and it has been impossible for me to determine whether or not the pavilion was indeed transported from Budapest and opened as such, or in any capacity, in Zagreb.
54. Bukovac, Moj Zivot, 183:
Ne htjelo nam se s pocetka da se s Madzarima druzimo, ali nakon dugih, zivih debata odlucili smo aut-aut: ili ni makac, ili neka nam skupo plate nase izlozbe, bljesnu mi misao, da nam se eto nudja najbolja prilika, da se docepamo umjetnickog paviljona. Ovu namisao jos u klici prisapnuh mojim drugovima i malo po malo sve ih odusevih za nju. Lozinka je bila: ili paviljon ili ne izlazemo!
55. Bukovac, Moj Zivot, 184: "…hrvatska zemlja mora da bude prenesena i obasuta okolo paviljona."
56. See Marusevski, "Gradnja Umjetnickog Paviljona," 263. Fellner and Helmer built nearly half of all new theater buildings in turn-of-the-century Central Europe, including the National Theater in Zagreb, which was the home of Bukovac's curtain, Glory to Them. See also Vladimir Bedenko, "The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb," and Dieter Klein, "Theater Construction at the Turn of the Century in Germany and in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy," in Purchla, Theater Architecture of the Late nineteenth Century, 65–72 and 39.
57. Laurencic, The Millennium, 144.
58. See Sidner Larson, "House Made of Cards: The Construction of American Indians" 21–38, in Captured in the Middle: Tradition and Experience in Contemporary Native American Writing (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000).
59. My thanks to Dr. Drew Armstrong for his expert help in identifying the style of the pavilion.
60. Kruzic-Uchytil, "Prvi Nastupi," 194 and 198.
61. Bukovac, Moj Zivot, 188:" jedini na Slavenskom Jugu." On the 1898 "Croatian Salon," see also Lea Ukraincik, ed., Hrvatski Salon 1898 (Zagreb: Umjetnicki Paviljon, 1998).
62. "Uspjeh nasih umjetnika," 351:
Najveci proizvod ljudskoga duha jesu djela umjetnosti. … I doista povjest nas uci, a i moderno izkustvo, da se je sviet stao zanimati za koji narod cesto samo po njegovih umjetnickih proizvodih, u kojih se zrcali najveca visina njegove sposobnosti. Strani sviet promatrajuc umjetnicka djela razabrao je, da narod, koji je proizveo ta djela, vriedi da zivi, da nije barbarski, da moze biti koristnim clanom ljudstva i da se nesmije dopustiti njegovo potlacivanje ili unistavanje. … jer je ovo i najdostojniji i najplemenitiji nacin borbe za srecu svoga naroda. I nasi umjetnici su tako sudili, pak su prema tomu odlucili sudjelovati na nedavno otvorenoj pestanskoj izlozbi. Nisu isli onamo, da proslave isto no svoj narod. Poznato je, da se bas s neke strane osobito rado govori o nasem toboz inferioritetu, pak s toga su hrvatski umjetnici sudili, da ce izlozba njihovih radnja najprije razprsiti pricicu o nasem slabom dusevnom razvitku. I mora se reci, da je namjera nasih umjetnika posla za rukom sretno i dostojno po hrvatski narod.
My thanks to Vera Kruzic-Uchytil, who brings attention to the quote in her, "Prvi nastupi," 194.
63. The degree to which Croatia perceived that it was viewed by other nations as inferior can be seen, for example, in the poem "Inferiorna rasa," by Jovan Hranilovic published in Vienac no. 10 (1892), 145. The poet calls for a revival of ideals in order to gain for Croatia the respect of the foreigners who despise it.
64. Anonymous, "Dvor dubrovackoh knezova," Vienac no. 28 (1874), 441: "Na ovoj tocki bijase nas narod svoj, ne spregnut nicijim uticajem, na ovoj maloj tocki dokazao je, da je vrstan izpunjavati sve uvjete culture svjetske."