Sunday, September 14, 2014

Oton Ivekovic

Death of the last Croatian king Petar Svacic near Gvozd
other detail unknown

King Petar Svacic died in 1097 and was the last native king of Croatia (reigned 1093-1097).

Oton Ivekovic (1869-1939) was a Croatian painter, born in Klanjec, who largely concerned himself with historical topics as well as some religious themes. Many of his paintings remain the chief representations of Croatian history. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th he was the most important history painter working in Croatia and the most prolific. He adopted a palette of plein-air colours and skilfully incorporated them into his historical genre paintings.

He attended high school for three and a half years in Zagreb where, except for history and drawing, he neglected other subjects. He wanted to enter the Art Academy in Vienna. His family couldn't afford it, so he began his studies with a painter of French descent, in Zagreb. He didn't abandon his plans, however, and earned enough money to go to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He graduated from the Academy, and he later taught at the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts.

After the outbreak of the First World War he went to the front as a war correspondent. From June 1915 to September 1918, he was at the battlefields in Sochi, Galicia and Serbia, recording scenes from military life. After the war, he sold his house in Zagreb and bought the castle of Veliki Tabor. He lived there until 1935.