Ferdo Quiquerez
Landscape, 1874-1875
oil on canvas, 15.5x2645cm

On account of his small-format landscapes, Ferdo Quiquerez (1845-1893) is considered to be one of the founders of Realism in Croatia, along with the first generation of Croatian painters who attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, namely Iso Kršnjavi and Nikola Mašić. He studied painting with Mücke, making sketches for historical compositions. After having received a scholarship from Strossmayer in 1870, he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich where he studied under professor Karl von Piloty, a painter of historical compositions, and etcher Johann Leonard Raab. In 1872, he interrupted his schooling in Munich and went to Italy where he remained until 1875. He first resided in Venice (where he became acquainted with architectural vedute of Ippolito Caffi), and then in Rome and its surroundings where he copied works of art in churches and public collections. In Sorrento and on the island of Capri, together with Siemiradzki and Kršnjavi, he painted bright landscapes in plein-air by applying paint freely and in smears. In 1875, thanks to the Zadar-born painter Franjo Salghetti-Drioli, Quiquerez went to Montenegro where he became the court painter to Prince Nicholas. His studies are a faithful record of the people he encountered and regions that he passed through. In 1876, he returned to Zagreb and in 1878 he started teaching drawing at a grammar school. Modest teacher income and steady work were not enough to maintain quality of life of the already sickly Quiquerez.

Landscape from 1874 is one of Quiquerez’s few small-scale, harmonious realistic landscapes based on a solid system of masses and forms, devoid of description and unnecessary detailing. The manifestation of forms is harmonized in pure composition and linear perspective, that connects the picturesqueness of several colours (green, brown and grey that turns into shadow) surrounded by a sunny atmosphere. In this manner, he achieves a new structure of forms and paves the way for Modern art.

Text: Dajana Vlaisavljević, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: From the photo archive of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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