Dujam Penić, A Female Torso, 1928

Dujam Penić
A Female Torso, 1928

Dujam Penić studied sculpture under Ferroni in Venice and sculptor Ivan Meštrović in Zagreb, as well as in Vienna, Munich, Athens, Paris and New York.
In the period between 1914 and 1920 he lived and worked in New York and then between 1924 and 1932 in Paris, where he was influenced by Auguste Rodin’s works. In 1932 he moved to Split and then in 1936 to Zagreb. At first he modelled realistic portraits, after which he adopted the style of Art Nouveau. He was fascinated by antiquity and the Renaissance on his return to Europe, so he sculpted classical statues in stone and bronze. Modelled in the spirit of Impressionism, his later works include sketches for compositions with a larger number of figures and portraits. During the course of his career, he managed to free himself from the initial influence of Art Nouveau and Meštrović’s stylisations, after which he focused on the ancient ideal of beauty and harmony.
Having shown a special feeling for classical form, Penić sculpted a series of female nudes whose renditions offered inventive solutions. Featuring accents of light on its smooth surfaces of full volume, his finely modelled A Female Torso sculpture from 1928 underscores rather uniquely the beauty of line and the richness of form.

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum consultant of the National Museum of Modern Art©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Ana Janković
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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