Hranisava, from the 1983 retrospective exhibition catalogue, 1920
oil on canvas
96.5 x 125 cm
Hranisava represents a turning point in the oeuvre of the painter Karlo Mijić (Bileća, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 7 Feb 1887 – Zagreb, 5 Feb 1964). His earlier works reveal the influence of the Munich Academicism, pleinairism, Jugendstil, Symbolism and the Vienna Secession, while this particular work demonstrates Mijić’s departure towards Expressionism. In the 1920s, he mostly painted bold and intense mountain landscapes of Bosnia, such as the depicted Bjelašnica, that is, Hranisava. The form is solid, while the intense colour scheme carries the expression, the palette is cold, mostly shades of blue, green and purple, while the brushstroke is thin and soft. From the empty foreground, we follow the depth of space to its furthermost point in the pointy mountain peaks, high in the sky where they merge with the mist and swirl of dense clouds.
Mijić initially attended R. Scheffer’s private drawing and painting school in Vienna (1904 - 1905). He also studied at the Academy in Prague with Vlaho Bukovac in 1906, at the Munich Academy with P. Halm and C. Marr (1906-1909), and at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna with B. Löffler in 1913 - 1914. He moved to Zagreb in 1938 and became intensely active within the city’s cultural circle. He was a member of the “Medulić” Association of Croatian Artists and often exhibited at the Spring Salon. He staged his first solo exhibition at the Salon Urlich in 1920, and the very next year he founded the first art colony in Blažuj with Vladimir Becić. He worked in the fields of applied graphic arts, small-scale sculpture, set design and education.
Text: Marta Radman, Intern curator © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2022
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb, 2022