(1885. – 1913.)
Miroslav Kraljević (1885-1913)
Miroslav Kraljević was a Croatian painter, graphic artist and sculptor, who studied in Vienna, Munich and Paris. Having been a member – together with painters Josip Račić and Vladimir Becić – of what was dubbed the Munich Circle, he is considered to be one of the pioneers of modern painting in Croatia.
After having graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, he moved to Požega in June 1910 to stay with his family, after which he left for Paris in September 1911. During his stay in Požega, he created realistic sculptures, such as a portrait of his niece Ivana, relief portraits of Požega-born writers Janko Jurković, Josip Eugen Tomić and Vjekoslav Babukić, and a portrait plaque of his father.
Kraljević’s creative power in sculpture is primarily reflected in his figurative compositions of rural women and men prone to debauchery, good examples of which are his A Fight and Drunkards sculptures. He modelled these dynamic small sculptures in terracotta, given that terracotta is the most pliable medium to present detailed observations of sequences of debauched human nature.
Kraljević’s A Garter sculpture from 1910 precedes these two sculptures. It is a sculpture of a woman of a pronouncedly raw sensuality with a flirtatious attitude featuring minimal portrait traits, a diabolical smile on her face, high cheekbones and a square chin. Kraljević continued to elaborate the form of this mature coquette from Požega in a twisted body posture wearing a domed crinoline in his many Parisian drawings of women.
Text: tatijana Gareljić, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb