A Head of a Boy, 1913
Ferdo Ćus graduated in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1910 (mentored by Robert Frangeš-Mihanović and Rudolf Valdec). In 1913 and 1914, he continued his studies at the woodcarving school in St. Christina in Tyrol, Austria. Recognised as a talented sculptor while still a student, in 1910 he sculpted bronze statues of boys on turtles for the fountain in Petrinja, and in 1911 he modelled independently the groups of owls mounted on the roof of the building that housed the University Library in Zagreb, today the Croatian State Archives.
Due to his early death, Ćus’s oeuvre is not extensive. Nevertheless, it reflects his strong artistic personality as realised in his wooden sculptures of saints, human figures and animalistic motifs of thematic diversity and sensibility.
Ćus’s children’s portraits, such as A Head of a Boy (1913), are modelled softly within their closed volume. Curiously, the surfaces of the boy’s hair, smooth with solid edges, are modelled in the manner of Facet Cubism.
Text: Tatijana Gareljić, 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