Monday, December 29, 2014

Ivana Kobilca

oil on canvas
180 × 140 cm
National Gallery of Slovenia, The Republic of Slovenia

Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926), born in Ljubljana as a daughter in a wealthy family of a crafstman, is the most prominent Slovene woman painter and a key figure of Slovene cultural identity. She belonged to the generation of Slovene realist painters who created their best works of art in the Eighties of the 19th century. She mostly painted oil paintings and pastels, whereas her drawings are few. The themes include still lifes, portraits, genre works, allegories, and religious scenes.

She was born in Ljubljana as a daughter in a wealthy family of a crafstman. Her parents gave great emphasis on education. At first, she learned how to draw, but also French and Italian, in a high school in her home town. When she was 16, she went with her father to Vienna, where she saw the paintings of old masters that inspired her. From 1879 to 1880, she studied in Vienna, and from 1880 to 1881 in Munich, where she copied the paintings at the gallery of the Academy of Arts. In 1888 she participated for the first time in a public exhibition by sending two of her pictures to Vienna. At the next exhibition in Munich her talents were praised by a best known German critic of that time. Since then her paintings made a long way to various European exhibitions: to Paris, Berlin, Prague. Leipzig, Basel, Dresden, Budapest, Ratisbon etc.. Her arrival to Paris was crowned with success. She became an honorary member (membre associee) of Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts. At her death in 1926 in Ljubljana, she was described as the greatest Yugoslav woman painter.