Wine (Wine Pressing), 1935
oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm
The painting Wine (Wine Pressing) is one of Job’s last great works. In the spring of 1935, exhausted by a serious illness, Ignjat Job recalls a wine festival scene that encapsulates the energetic, swirling spirit of the Mediterranean. With a whirlwind of strongly symbolic colours and energetic brushstrokes he achieves a completely free composition of unique emotional intensity. This is what Job said of the painting Wine: “It is large, it is accomplished. I will be attacked because it is frantic and all red.”
Having been expelled from the Zagreb College of Arts and Fine Crafts because of truancy, despite having excellent grades, in 1920 the talented Ignjat Job from Dubrovnik went to Rome, Naples and Capri. He later lived and worked in Zagreb, Belgrade and Kulina (near Aleksinac), but he showed his true painterly prowess only after returning to his Dalmatian homeland. Linked by fate to the Mediterranean, Job created the majority of his oeuvre only after his family had returned to the sea, to Vodice in 1927, and in particular Supetar in 1928. He had been suffering from tuberculosis since 1925 and died in 1936. Despite being physically, socially and emotionally completely exhausted, in the final seven years of his life he painted more than two hundred vedutas, nudes, portraits and Mediterranean genre-scenes with strong colours and accentuated free expression. Ignjat Job has only had two solo exhibitions during his lifetime (Split, 1929 and 1930) and his work was showcased at about two dozen group exhibitions.
Text: Lada Bošnjak Velagić, senior curator 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