A Ginger-Bearded Man, 1916
oil on canvas
Zlatko Šulentić (1893-1971) attended the Transitional Advanced School of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (1911-1914). He taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. In terms of style, his oeuvre – marked primarily by intense colours – ranges from Expressionism to Intimism, as well as to Lyrical Abstraction. His first exhibition was at the famous first exhibition of Croatia’s Spring Salon in Zagreb.
Zlatko Šulentić painted his anthological A Ginger-Bearded Man exactly in the year in which Croatia’s Spring Salon’s first exhibition was held – i.e., in 1916 – but it was exhibited at the spring salon exhibition only three years later. In the portrait of a man in a seated position in almost full figure, space is constructed in a Cézannesque manner, which Šulentić adopted during his stay in Paris. What stands out in the otherwise neutral palette of greys and blue-greys is the colour accent of the man’s clasped hands and face – his beard in particular – painted in complementary contrasts of greens and reds. The expressiveness of Šulentić’s colour scheme is taken to be the early herald of Expressionism exhibited at Spring Salon exhibitions, particularly and typically between 1919 and 1921.
Text: Ivana Rončević Elezović, museum advisor 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