Self-Portrait in a Hunting Suit, 1912
oil on canvas
118.5 x 88.2 cm
Nasta Rojc (1883–1964) studied painting under Oton Iveković in Zagreb and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 1903 to 1907, with professors Heinrich Knirr and Hugo von Habermann. In Munich she had contacts with Miroslav Kraljević, Josip Račić and Vladimir Becić, so it is possible to interpret her paintings in the context of the so-called Munich Circle. From 1907 to 1910, she spent time in Vienna where she studied painting with Ludwig Michalek and Friedrich König, and upon her return to Zagreb she again worked in Oton Iveković’s private studio. She resided in London and Reading in 1926/27. She held solo exhibitions in Vienna, Zagreb and London. At the same time, she also participated in exhibitions of the Croatian Art Society, Lada Society, Women’s Art Club, Little Entente of Women and others. She was married to painter Branko Šenoa. She co-founded, together with Lina Virant Crnčić, the Women’s Art Club in Zagreb in 1928. In addition to the artistic quality of her painting, Nasta Rojc merits importance for her contribution to the emancipation of women in Croatian art.
Self-portrait in a Hunting Suit from 1912, painted in the Munich manner of tonal painting, is a powerful depiction of an emancipated, self-conscious woman in a bold pursuit of the traditionally male hobby. In the vertical painting format, the painter’s standing figure, shown from knee height in a three-quarter profile stands out against the simplified background of wintry landscape in three zones. The skirt painted in muted olive hues and dark brown strands of hair framing the face are blown by the wind from behind. The head is slightly tilted to the side and her gaze is penetrating, almost provocative. The rifle hanging from the right shoulder further contributes to the impression of grit, while the left hand is nonchalantly placed inside the jacket pocket.
Text: Ivana Rončević Elezović, museum counsellor at the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2023