A Dog Tracking, 1912
22 cm x 50 cm x 15, 5 cm
Branislav Dešković attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice (1903-1905), where he was mentored by the Italian sculptor Antonio Dal Zòtto. He stayed briefly in Vienna, and in 1907 he moved to Paris, where he regularly exhibited at the Salons (1908-1921).
Dešković’s earliest works were influenced by Academicism and the Italian Verists. During his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, he sculpted a series of realist portrait reliefs, such as A Portrait of a Bearded Man (1904).
Whenever he travelled to Croatia, he modelled sculptures under the influence of the patriotic movement, and in the spirit of Art Nouveau and stylised monumentalism. After having led a bohemian lifestyle and once his health started deteriorating, in 1921 he settled down in Split.
He is best known for his dynamic sculptures of hunting dogs under the influence of Rodin’s aesthetics, modelled as freestanding sculptures and in typical poses. Given his very own version of Impressionism, he is considered to be the most prominent animalist in Croatian modern sculpture.
A Dog Tracking is a perfect impression of a hunting dog frozen in action while focusing on its primary task.
Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum consultant of 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