A View of Zagreb, 1910
oil on wood, 18 x 47 cm
After his first painting lessons with Joso Bužan, Mihovil Krušlin (1882–1962) went on to study and graduate from the College of Arts and Fine Crafts in Zagreb in 1911, in the class of Menci Clement Crnčić. He then studied in Paris and Italy. He had his first solo exhibition in Zagreb in 1910, and he participated in the exhibition of the “Lada” Association of Yugoslav Artists, held in Zagreb in 1912 and 1920, and in Osijek in 1921. His two retrospective exhibitions were held in Brdovec in 1976 and in Zagreb in 1982.
In his painting, Krušlin continued the tradition of Academic Realism and pleinairism, without the influence of the more avant-garde tendencies. In his lyrical watercolours, critics particularly emphasize the artistic value of their refined tonal gradations. His themes are mostly landscapes and regional vedutas of Croatia. This small oil on wood titled A View of Zagreb from 1910 shows a veduta of Zagreb at night in a horizontal format. The panoramic, nocturnal vedutas of cities are rendered with blotches of paint in the tradition of the Italian Macchiaioli, whose painting Krušlin could have seen in person during his stay in Italy. Although his approach to the theme is conservative and it is executed in the traditional manner of 19th century painting study, the visual quality is nonetheless captivating, with balanced colourway ranging from brown to bluish and purple night tones and skilful, sketchy brushstrokes.
Text: Ivana Rončević Elezović, Museum advisor of the National Museum of Modern Art © National Museum of Modern Art
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb