On 20 September, 2020, we mark the 150th
anniversary of the birth of painter Matej Sternen (died 1949). He is firmly embedded in our memory as one of the four Slovenian impressionists. He was of an exceptionally broad spirit and curious about creativity, which certainly led to his use of a variety of media to express his visual ideas. In addition to oil painting, he mastered drawing, graphic art, and fresco painting. His technical skill was closely related to his work as a restorer, including copy-making. Thus, the September Revelations will be dedicated to this last-mentioned activity which was also closely connected to the formation of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Slovenia.
When the committeemen of the National Gallery were pondering on how to prepare a rounded-off presentation of Gothic art − Gothic mural painting, to be precise − in the exhibition rooms, they decided on copies of frescoes. Hence, in 1921 they commissioned the first copies from Matej Sternen. Those were two scenes from the Passion series in the old parish Church of St. Oswald at Jezersko: Ecce homo (NG S 1432) and The Death of Judas (also called Judas Hanged; NG S 1433). Matej Sternen decided to bring the copies as close to the originals as possible, so he executed them on a layer of plaster, which means in the true fresco technique.
3 September – 30 September 2020
National Gallery of Slovenia