Frano Kršinić studied sculpture at the Crafts School in Korčula and at the Sculpture and Stonemasonry School in Hořice in the Czech Republic (1913-1917), and attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1917-1921). He was one of the founding members of the Earth Association of Artists and a member of the Independent Collective of Croatian Artists. He contributed significantly to the development of contemporary Croatian sculpture with his refined sculpture and unconstrained approach to teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb.
His appearance on Croatia’s sculpture scene marked a break with the tradition of academicist Realism and the ornamentalism of Art Nouveau imbued with feelings of patriotism and national pride typical of the Medulić Association of Croatian Artists, whose main protagonist was sculptor Ivan Meštrović. Thanks to his condensed visual elements, calm line, balanced building of mass, and idealisation and spiritualisation of forms, Kršinić succeeded in assimilating creatively the elements of Czech sculptor Jan Štursa’s art in the way in which Kršinić conceptualised and composed his motifs and French sculptor Aristide Maillol’s synthesis of form, akin to the classics and spirit of the Mediterranean tradition. These characteristics are best seen in a series of Kršinić’s female nudes and figurative compositions. He also sculpted a number of representative monuments and portraits in stone and bronze, terracotta pieces and modelled commemorative medals.
Having elaborated in numerous versions the motif of graceful maiden figures in a standing pose and sensual larger female figures in a sitting or reclining pose, Frano Kršinić created anthological works of art, one of which is his Awakening sculpture from 1928 here presented.
Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb