Hermina Ferić, Portrait of an Old Woman with a Lace Scarf

Hermina Ferić
1844 – 1923
Portrait of an Old Woman with a Lace Scarf, 1912
cast bronze
215 x 150 mm
MG-2892-631The first Croatian female medallist was of noble origin and acquired a broad education on her educational trips around Europe. During her stay in Vienna, she met the renowned Austrian sculptor Antun Dominik Ferkorn (1813 – 1878) who took note of her sculptural talent and gave her lessons in his studio. Following the death of her husband, she moved to Zagreb in 1907 and started to work as a medallist again, after a long break. Her mentor was the Croatian sculptor Robert Frangeš-Mihanović, who often gave her advice and instructions on the production of plaques with portraits of the people close to her – friends and neighbours, persons from the upper class and the general population. As a self-taught artist, she has never shown her works in public, but she has left a relevant number of works that testify to her unquestionable ability for plastic design.
Portrait of an Old Woman with a Lace Scarf is a bust of an older women in profile to the right. A gaunt face with a long thin nose, relaxed furrowed cheeks, drooping corners of the mouth, a protruding chin and a small sunken eye. She has an elaborate large multi-layered cover with lace and embroidery draped over her head, which wraps around the neck and falls down to the chest. The bust has a horizontal and oblique cut. Along the bottom left is the signature: H. F. The medallist executed the relief portraits in a realistic manner, with latent expressiveness achieved by luminescence of adequately smooth facial surfaces intersected with characteristic features of the model. An occasional pronounced expressiveness in her works borders on naturalism. Clean surfaces around the motif are free of decorations and inscriptions, which allowed the artist to maintain a creative focus on refined faces with elaborate details conceived by the presentation of the psychological character of the model.

Text : Tatijana Gareljić, museum advisor of 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

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