Alojzij Repič owes his position in the history of sculpture in Slovenia above all to his work as a teacher at the Arts and Crafts School (later the Secondary Technical School) in Ljubljana and as the creator of realistic portraits of prominent figures from Slovene cultural life such as France Prešeren, Simon Gregorčič, Simon Jenko, Dragotin Kette, Fran Levstik, Josip Stritar, Ivan Tavčar, Jurij Šubic and other representatives of Slovene culture. Repič’s gallery of portrait sculptures of eminent Slovenes includes his bust of Ivan Cankar.
Repič created his portrait of the writer and dramatist Ivan Cankar, who was also a keen follower and sharp critic of the arts, in 1920, during his years as a teacher of modelling, carving and figurative sculpture at the Arts and Crafts School in Ljubljana (1905–1931). The work dates from two years after Cankar’s death and Repič probably made use of a photograph when working on the sculpture. He had undoubtedly also seen Cankar in person and was probably personally acquainted with him. Set on a roughly hewn base, the portrait is a bust with the head, complete with bushy moustache and hair, turned slightly to the right. Cankar’s face is given individuality by a pensive look that contrasts with a determined expression. The portrait is done in the academic realistic style to which Repič remained faithful until the end of his career.
Provenance: Donated: prof. dr. Riko Repič, artists son, Ljubljana, 18. 03. 1971
Exhibition: New Acquisitions of National Gallery 1965 - 1975, National Gallery of Ljubljana, 23 March - 2 Mai 1976
Lit: Kiparska razstava v obrtni šoli (Sculpture exibition in trade school), SN, št. 3, 4. 1. 1920, p.; bust of Ivan Cankar, Yugoslavia, IV, no. 34, 9. 2. 1921, p. 3; Plamen, I, št. 4, 1921, p. (repr.); -o-,Art exibition of artist Sterle and sculptor Repič, SN, no. 158, 13. 7. 1924, p. 3; Dbd (Karel DOBIDA), Alojzij Repič, ELU, 4, 1966, p. 83; Polonca Vrhunc, Rast slovenske galerijske zbirke, Delo, XIII, no. 275, 9. 10. 1971, p. 17, France DOBROVOLJC: Album of Cankar, Maribor 1972, p. 181 (picture. 497), 304 (with lit.).