Ljubo Babić
Castilian Landscape, 1921
oil on canvas, 49 x 64.5 cm
The 1920 trip to Spain significantly influenced Ljubo Babić’s creative work. Impressed by Spanish art and culture, but also its magnificent landscape, Babić created a portfolio of prints titled Toledo, a series of watercolours and an oil on canvas dedicated to the Castilian Landscape. Babić conveys the spirit and meaning of Spanish heritage with a detailed construction of space and dramatic light over the fields. On the other hand, Babić will later theoretically explain the idea of ‘our’ expression as specific to Croatian culture, and will provide a painterly elaboration in the cycle Land of My Birth from the late 1930s.
As a painter, set and costume designer, graphic artist, art pedagogue and critic, art historian, museologist, writer and editor, Ljubo Babić was one of the central personalities in the 20th century Croatian cultural life, and his views greatly influenced the general characteristics of Croatian art. He participated in the founding of the Croatian Spring Salon, Group of Independent Artists, Group of Four, Group of Three, Group of Croatian Artist and Croatian Artists. As the first curator of the National Museum of Modern Art, he was the author of its first permanent display shown in 1920 in the Museum of Arts and Crafts. In 1948, he designed the first display of the National Museum of Modern Art’s collection, which represents the complex development of 19th and 20th century Croatian art, for which purpose today’s building underwent extensive renovations.
Text: Lada Bošnjak Velagić, Senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Tekst: Lada Bošnjak Velagić, viša kustosica Nacionalnog muzeja moderne umjetnosti © Nacionalni muzej moderne umjetnosti, Zagreb
Foto: Goran Vranić © Nacionalni muzej moderne umjetnosti, Zagreb
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