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Exhibitions and Projects
17 May−2 October 2011

The Power of Glances

Portrait Painting of Ivan Grohar

Portrait painting of Ivan Grohar represents a smaller share in his oeuvre, if we ignore the numerous early portrait heads from his study period. However, it significantly completes his landscape painting, exposing the painter's symbolist side, while we are used to seeing him as an impressionist. The majority of his portraits were casual commissions accepted to secure his existence. He tried his can in the bourgeois status portrait of Vatroslav Holz, his favourably inclined critic. He compensated for somewhat dulled palette by a little pompous but realist scene, having the critic leaning against an ornate pediment with a little painting and a rather baroque curtain as background. The critics emphasised that it was painted in the "modern manner" which indicates a transgression of the conventions established in domestic cultural environment.

Among his best portraits are Francka Peterman, Fran Levec and now lost image of Mita Petrović of 1906−07. Grohar's palette is still restrained, but he concentrated instead on the mystical effects of light, which served him to express the spiritual likeness of the sitter, and the emancipated brush stroke. The colour range was somewhat expanded in the portrait of the admired local diva Mileva Zakrajšek. The manner of painting applied in landscape only at this stage approached the manner of execution of his portraits in elongated, energetic strokes, while the lavender dominating the palette of landscapes infused the portraits. These are important contributions to the genre of portrait in the first decade of the twentieth century and to the Slovenian modern painting, which have been so far overlooked in reception of Grohar's painting since they could not compete with the mythical identification of nature and the nation in his landscapes.

There are 32 portraits in the exhibiton. A 57 page catalogue carries reproductions of all the paintings in the exhibition.

Loški muzej Škofja Loka and National Gallery of Slovenia

Jana Mlakar, Andrej Smrekar

Barbara Sterle Vurnik

Project leader
Jana Mlakar

Jana Mlakar, Ranko Novak, Barbara Sterle Vurnik

Graphic design
Ranko Novak

Lenders to the exhibition
Loški muzej Škofja Loka, Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana, National Gallery of Slovenia, ACH Art Collection, private lenders

The exhibition was supported by
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
Municipality of Škofja Loka

17 May−2 October 2011
The exhibition is extended until 6 November 2011!
Loški muzej Škofja Loka
Grajska pot 13
4220 Škofja Loka