Croatia has a long history of producing great painters. From the renaissance to modern times, what follows is an overview of some of the most famous Croatian painters…
When you think of art, you think of Paris and Rome and those glorious painters that decorated much of Europe’s hallowed architectural glories. That thought may be partly true, but there are many others who contributed equally, if not more to the cultural renaissance in Europe. Croatia was in fact at the forefront of arts and culture in the medieval period as also during the renaissance and many famous Croatian painters graced the land with their timeless works of art that today are preserved in museums and art galleries across Europe and America.
Famous Croatian Renaissance Artists
Vincent of Kastav in the 15th century was best known for his lovely frescoes painted on churches. Ivan was another Croatian painter of the same era whose frescoes were renowned for their elaborate detail. His paintings are still present for art lovers to see in the province of Istria. Sacral paintings by Balsius Picor in the same period are found in numerous churches all over Croatia as well as in Hungary, Italy and Poland. Yet another renaissance painter of repute, Juraj Culinovic was famed for his polyptych paintings that are today considered as valuable art preserved in galleries in Berlin, London, Italy as well as Croatia.
Croatian Miniature Paintings
Feliks Petancic was famous for his miniature paintings. His series of miniatures on Turkish Sultans of the mid 15th century are considered as the best in the period and an important source of Turkish history. Yet another great Croatian miniature painter was Julije Klovic. Famous art galleries across Europe and America ranging from Rome, Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna and New York house Klovic’s superb miniatures.
Baroque Stylists from Croatia
In the early 18th century, lovely Baroque style paintings were created by Ivan Ranger whose paintings are still seen in churches across Croatia. Tripo Kokolja was yet another baroque stylist who lived in the same period. Vjekoslav Karas who lived in Croatia in the 19th century, was famous for his fine portraits, the best known being the Roman Lady with a Lute.
Modern Croatian Painters
Josip Račić was a famous Croatian painter at the turn of the 20th century. His watercolor paintings depicting human life and its mystical spiritual leanings have been hailed as the pioneering effort in establishing the ‘Croatian School’. The haunting human figures with their soulful expressions especially, the eyes, are a trademark Račić style that have been appreciated by art experts the world over. Račić’s works are displayed at the Zagreb Modern gallery for art lovers to view and appreciate. Another Croatian luminary Maximilian Vanka who died in Mexico in 1963, stands out for the sheer prolificacy of his painting and style. Vanka’s art ranged from portraits to murals, to frescoes, social themes and issues of human fate and divine providence. This peripatetic Croatian travelled far and wide from his home town in Zagreb to France, Italy, America, and India finally laying to rest in Mexico.
Croatia has indeed produced some of the finest painters in the world.