View of the Sava Valley, 1918
oil on canvas 65 x 74.5 cm
Milan Steiner (1894–1918) graduated from the Provisional College of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb in 1916, when he exhibited at the final student’s exhibition. Steiner’s small oeuvre was created in less than five years and stands out with its artistic quality. In terms of Croatian visual arts, he drew on the legacy of Miroslav Kraljević, and as far as his international influences, those of Max Liebermann and Max Slevogt are observable. Critics underline the specificity and internal cohesion of Steiner’s painting, which represents the continuation of the painting of the Munich Circle.
Steiner’s View of the Sava Valley from 1918 is a simply composed landscape in grey and muted pastel hues of green and blue. The painting’s significant feature is the summary depiction of the landscape and geometrized forms of modest architecture in its centre. Regular horizontal bands of the sky and river contribute to the minimalism of the whole, indicated by two shades of grey in the upper third part of the painting and the greenish-brown slope of the bare hill in its lower part. Thick impasto layers of paint and a more discreetly visible brush stroke connect this painting with the tradition of the Munich Circle members.
Text: Ivana Rončević Elezović, senior curator at 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