Vladimir Becić
Rogotin, 1937
oil on canvas
60 x 81 cm

Vladimir Becić is a painter who, along with M. Kraljević and J. Račić, belongs to the first generation of artists who are responsible for placing the prefix modern in front of the early 20th century Croatian painting. Born in Slavonski Brod in 1886, Becić started his art education at the private school of M. C. Crnčić and B. Č. Sesija in Zagreb. In 1905, he went to Munich where he met the aforementioned colleagues, and as a result of their socializing they will later form the so-called Munich Circle (according to some sources, O. Herman also belonged to that circle) that will become the cornerstone of the modern movement in Croatian painting. In 1909, Becić moved to Paris and enrolled at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière where he continued his art education. From 1916 to 1918, he worked for the Paris magazine L´Illustration as a war painter and correspondent from the battlefields of World War I. He returned to Zagreb in 1924 and started working as a professor at the Zagreb Academy of Fine Arts. In the early 1930s, Becić, together with Lj. Babić and J. Miše, formed the Group of Three. Although each member of the group had their own specific visual style, the artists found common ground in the regional, that is, local characteristics of certain climates. In addition to their themes, the group of artists found other common stylistic features, the most notable of which is the “colourist realism”, which is characterized by a bright tonal colourist approach. The painting Rogotin, although created after the group dissolved in 1935, represents the implementation of the said tendencies into practice. The bay, its surrounding vegetation and boats are shown in a dynamic interrelationship, while houses in the background form a static counterpoint to living nature.
Vladimir Becić remained a professor at the Academy in Zagreb until 1947. He died in 1954 in Zagreb. As early as 1905, he has shown his work at the exhibition of the Croatian Art Society, and in the course of his lifetime has had exhibitions in Paris, Zagreb, Osijek and the 21st Venice Biennale.

Text: Zlatko Tot, trainee curator at the NMMA©National Museum of ModernArt, 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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