Vlaho Bukovac (Croatian, 1855-1922) Na Izvoru
Lot 25
Vlaho Bukovac (Croatian, 1855-1922) Na Izvoru (At the Spring)
Sold for £57,600 (US$ 94,122) inc. premium

Lot Details
Vlaho Bukovac (Croatian, 1855-1922)
Na Izvoru (At the Spring)
signed and dated 'B.Bukovac/Paris 1890' (lower left)
oil on panel
65.5 x 46cm (25 13/16 x 18 1/8in).

Footnotes

  • LITERATURE:
    Vera Kružić Uchytil,Vlaho Bukovac, život i djelo, 1855 - 1922, (Zagreb, 2005), no.339, illustrated p.355.

    The present lot was painted in 1890 when Vlaho Bukovac was living in Paris; he had exhibited regularly at the Salon and had established a solid reputation. At this time, he signed 'B.' which stood for Blaise Bukovac, the French version of his name.

    Bukovac studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the class of one of the most famous 'pompiers', Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889), the leading figure of French Academic art. After 1884-5, he rejected the tenets of academic painting and like many of his generation began to embrace the modern French Realist School. He was also receptive to the ideas of the French Pleinairists and Impressionists.

    An important change in his life occured around 1886 when he met the English art dealers Vicars Brothers of London. They first commissioned large genre paintings and also purcahsed works from the Salon. Bukovac was later commissioned to paint the portraits of leading members of English society; these would be the works which estbalished an international reputation.

    Bukovac settled in Montmartre, behind the Basilica of Sacré Coeur where he built his own studio with a large garden. There he painted exclusively plein-air works.

    Executed in his garden, the present work is an outstanding example of this period depicting the artist's model, his sister and a personal friend. His sister, Gjorgje, lived with him in Paris and was his model and cook. She was often represented in his work (for intance, Proljeće, Vera Kružić Uchytil, p.353, illustrated no. 327, here with her daughter).

    This painting was probably commissioned by Vicars Brothers in response to the taste of their English clients as subjects of this type, or scenes of rural life were very popular. Executed with light and sombre vertical brushstrokes, 'Na Izvoru' was still influenced by the ideas of the Barbizon school before the artist's palette became clearer with a more pointillist technique.

    A wealthy industrialist and well-known art collector, Simon Fox, played an important role in the artist's life between 1888 and 1892. He commissioned a number of portraits of his family and bought seventeen other paintings from Bukovac including a similar composition to 'na Izvoru'. (Mladić i djevojka/Na Izvoru, Vera Kružić Uchytil, p.353, no.326)

    On his return to Zagreb in 1893, Bukovac became the leader of a group of young artists who became known as the 'School of Colour' which was the ultimate stage in the process of his artistic development, from academic to plein-air painting and from Impressionism to a divisionist manner.

    We are greatful to Mrs Vera Kružić Uchytil for kindly confirming the authenticity of this work.
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