Rudolf Valdec, Portrait of Dr. Izidor Kršnjavi, c. 1905

Rudolf Valdec
(1872 – 1929)
Portrait of Dr. Izidor Kršnjavi, c. 1905
bronze, 47 x 35 x 30 cm

One of the founders of Croatian modern sculpture and medallic art, after having been educated at the Academies of Fine Art in Vienna (1890, 1894 - 1895) and Munich (1891 -1894), he became an accomplished artist and educator in Zagreb.
Rudolf Valdec was an exquisite portraitist. He achieved expressive individuality with realistic form, interwoven with the Secession stylization, and adapted appropriate artistic solutions to individual characteristics of the portrayed persons. In a series of commissioned portrait busts, in addition to realistic form, he also managed to achieve a deep psychologization of the prominent personalities he portrayed.
Portrait of Dr. Izidor Kršnjavi (Našice, 22 April 1845 - Zagreb, 3 February 1927), Croatian painter, art historian, patron and head of the Department of Religious Affairs and Education was made in the manner of realistic representative portraits, with prominent character traits. The portrait is rendered with all the physiognomic details – striking facial features, high brow, expressive eyebrows, eyelids, nose and lush moustache and beard. Art Nouveau accents are manifested in the curvature of the lines around the eyes and the linear stylisation of strands of hair, beard and moustache. With this procedure, dynamism is skilfully implemented into a serious physiognomy and a solid bust. In the spirit of the time, Izidor Kršnjavi’s bust originally stood on a polished wooden pillar that was also a cabinet.

Text: Tatijana Gareljić, museum advisorof the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb , 2022

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