Emanuel Vidović
Church Interior, 1939
oil on canvas
56.5 x 67.8 cm

Raised in a traditional, God-fearing family, Emanuel Vidović (Split, 1870 – 1953) participated in many church rituals and ceremonies from an early age. The ambience, sound, scent, emotion and intimacy of church interiors became a thematic constant of sorts in his oeuvre in the 1930s. Muted colourway, meticulous dedication to details of the interior and the desire to recreate varying light effects depending on the time of day characterise almost all the works created in this period of the artist’s oeuvre, including this Church Interior. He created them at an advanced age, and they can be interpreted as a kind of synthesis of his painting oeuvre.
Vidović is today considered one of the key painters of Modern art in Croatia, who started his artistic education at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice in 1887. He soon left the Academy, but stayed in Italy for the next 10 years. He was learning to paint in the style of Italian Divisionism and participated in exhibitions from Milan to Chioggia. In 1907, he permanently returned to his native Split. In 1909, he started working as a professor of painting at the School of Crafts in Split and was actively involved in cultural life. He initiated the foundation of the Medulić Association of Croatian Artists and often published caricatures in the humorous magazine Duje Balavac. Thematically, Vidović’s oeuvre can be divided into several segments: Italian, Split and Trogir landscapes; interiors of apartments and studios, still lifes and finally interiors of churches in Split and Trogir.

Text: Marta Radman, Intern Curator © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2022

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