VLADIMIR BECIĆ (1886-1954)
Female Nude with a Newspaper (In the Studio), 1907
oil on canvas
100 x 85 cm
Vladimir Becić (1886–1954) attended Menci Clement Crnčić’s and Bela Čikoš Sesija’s private painting school in Zagreb. Like Miroslav Kraljević, he also dropped out of law school and in 1905 went to Munich to study painting. Once there, among other things, he enrolled in the painting course of Hugo von Habermann, which was also attended, between 1905 and 1910, by Račić, Kraljević and Herman (the Munich Circle). In 1909, he moved to Paris to study at the Académie da la Grande Chaumière. During his long life, he lived in Zagreb, Osijek, Belgrade, Bitola and Blažuj near Sarajevo, where he also set up a studio. He participated in World War I as a war correspondent and painter for the L’Illustration weekly from the Macedonian Front.
Becić’s painting style ranged from the Munich Realism, Expressionism and Cézanneism, through Magical to Colourist Realism.
In the painting Female Nude with a Newspaper (In the Studio) from 1907, he gives a distinctly modern touch to the theme of a model in the studio by introducing the motif of a broadsheet newspaper in the centre of the right half of the painting. The act of reading the newspaper, as a product of modern civilisation, thus imposes itself as an alternative, equally valuable topic to the one cited in the title of the work itself. Situated in the studio interior, the female nude, the reflection of whose head can be seen in the background mirror, and the dog curled up at her feet, together with the newspaper motif, form the central rectangle of the composition. Painted with long, visible brush strokes, in a dark gamut of colours, the shapes have a clear geometricity, typical of Becić, connecting him to Cézanneism of the “Munich Circle”.
Text: Ivana Rončević Elezović, museum consultant © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022.