Return from Fishing I (Sailors), 1929
oil on canvas
60 x 73 cm
Juraj Plančić was born in 1899 in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. His art education started in Split, but continued at the Advanced School of Arts and Fine Crafts in Zagreb, where he was influenced by Vladimir Becić and Jozo Kljaković. In 1926, he went to Paris as a French government scholarship holder to continue his training, where he learned the most important lessons by frequenting museums and galleries and studying the work of such masters as Manet and Derain. Despite poverty and illness constantly preventing him from painting, Plančić’s first showing at the Salon d'Automne in 1927 won critical acclaim and the exhibited painting was immediately sold. Plančić’s figurative scenes bathed in golden light achieved a similar success at the Salon d’Automne in 1928, the Salon des Indépendants in 1929 and 1930, as well as the solo exhibition at the Galerie de Seine in 1929. Within the period of as little as twenty months prior to his death from tuberculosis in the summer of 1930, Plančić managed to evoke the world of Mediterranean gaiety in about seventy fascinating Arcadian compositions, still lifes and nudes. Return from Fishing I is rendered with specific flat modelling and flickering translucent layers of paint, so in terms of style and subject matter, it is representative of an entire series of fairy-tale, idyllic scenes in which Plančić connects memories of a simple life on the island of Hvar with scenes from French contemporary life.
Text: Lada Bošnjak Velagić, Senior Curator 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