Lojze Dolinar (Ljubljana, 19 April 1893 – Ičići near Opatija, 9 September 1970) was the most prominent Slovenian representative of realistic monument sculpture
between the two wars, author of monumental free-standing and architectural
sculptures. In terms of style, his
rich oeuvre moved from academic realism, symbolism, Art Nouveau and picturesque
Impressionist and neo-Baroque manner to Expressionist sculpture and programmatic Socialist Realism. He was
intensely dedicated to monumental architectural and monument sculpture, within
the framework of which he created big monument figures in the programme of
Socialist Realism, in which he relied on Classical Antiquity and contemporary
models. Portraits, nudes and dynamic figure compositions, based on the contrast
between smooth and rough treatment of surface, are marked by disproportionate
After finishing his training with
sculptor Alojzij Repič at the Applied Arts School in Ljubljana, Lojze Dolinar
continued his studies at the academies in Vienna (1910/1911) and Munich
(1912/1913). During the First World War he was called up. In 1920, he left for
New York for a few months, travelled Italy and went to Paris. After having
received his first major commission from Belgrade he turned to architectural
sculpture. In 1932 he moved to the Yugoslav capital where he was appointed full
professor of sculpture at the academy in 1949. He won recognition in Belgrade
as the author of a great number of public commissions.
In 1928, thus a few
years before he left for Belgrade, the sculptor executed a standing male figure
which he named A Shepherd. The
full-length, muscular but slim naked youth relaxedly leans against a prop in a
strongly inclined position; he can be identified as a shepherd due to the
indicated panpipes in his hands and his slightly open mouth indicating blowing
Dolinar's genre figure with realistic
features and its title does not indicate that it is a representation of Pan or
a satyr. In searching for the balance of the figure the sculptor in the first
place tested the very statics, which proceeds from the problems which the
Hellenistic sculpture had already tried to solve. The modelling of
the figure resembles the lively figure sculptures by Matisse from the first
decade of the 20th century.
Dolinar’s statue was exhibited at
the Exhibition of Slovenian Art (Razstava slovenske
umetnosti) in Celje in 1931 and at the Art
Exhibition (Umetnička izložba) in Belgrade in the same year. It was also
included in the two retrospective exhibitions of Dolinar’s oeuvre in the Museum
of Modern Art in Ljubljana, in 1958 and 1996.
The statue was donated to the National
Gallery of Slovenia in 2016. It comes from the legacy of architect Herman Hus (1896−1960). Dolinar decorated the Old Post Office building
in Kranj (1929−1930), authored by Herman Hus, with relief caryatid figures, and
the architect, in turn, later designed the sculptor’s house in Belgrade.
Lojze Dolinar and Herman Hus were friends and collaborators, and the sculptor
most likely gave the statue as a present to the architect in the thirties of
the previous century.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the
donor for the most valuable complement to the sculpture collection of the
National Gallery of Slovenia.