Noon at Koločep, 1931
oil on canvas
61 x 71 cm
Noon at Koločep is one of Miše’s best luminous Dalmatian landscapes from the 1930s in which he idealizes Dalmatian daily life. In scenes of intense colour schemes as a specific feature of his Dalmatian homeland, and in line with Ljubo Babić’s idea of ‘our expression’, Miše emphasises the ideal harmony of man and nature, that is, the human contribution in the original landscape. Introducing authentic motifs of ordinary drystone walls, stone roads and karst vegetation into his Mediterranean visions, Miše creates a prolific landscape oeuvre that fully meets the expectations of the middle class, as well as contemporary critics.
In 1911, Jerolim Miše published such a severe piece of criticism of the work of his professor Menci Clement Crnčić that he got expelled from the College of Arts and Fine Crafts in Zagreb, so he later studied in Rome and Florence. Having been influenced by Ivan Meštrović, Miše’s early painting is close to the linear Art Nouveau style. In the late 1920s, Miše is influenced by French painting and contemporary German Expressionism and he paints markedly geometrised forms in the spirit of New Modernism and Magical Expressionism. As a member of the Group of Three, he participated in the formulation of “our expression”, and after having used intense colours and liberated gesture in the 1930s, he later paints mostly intimist still lifes and landscapes in muted colourways. In the last decades of his life, he painted realistically. Miše taught at the Academies of Fine Arts in Belgrade and Zagreb. He wrote art criticism and theoretical discussions, poems and short stories, and he also worked as a graphic designer. He was a member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Text: Lada Bošnjak Velagić, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2022