Vlaho Bukovac Croatia

7-5-1855 Cavtat, CRO - 4-23-1922 Prague, CZE

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Bukovac, Vlaho

Vlaho Bukovac was born as Biagio Faggioni in the town of Cavtat south of Dubrovnik in Dalmatia. His father was an Italian from Genoa, while his mother was of Croatian descent.

Vlaho Bukovac received his artistic education in Paris where he was sent by the patron (Knez) Medo Pucic. His small studies and sketches delighted his professor, the well-known Alexandre Cabanel, and Bukovac became a student at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts.

Bukovac began his career in France. Painted in a "sugary" realistic style, his fashionable paintings achieved great success at the Paris Salon. During his sojourn in France, he traveled to England and the coast of Dalmatia, where he was born. His wide travels throughout his life also included voyages to the Black Sea, Chile, Peru, and North America.

He learns English when living in America as a teenager and, from the mid-1880s to the First World War, regularly visited England, where many of his most popular pictures were sold by the London art dealer. In Britain, Bukovac also painted portraits of Vicars’s clients.

Bukovac became a significant representative of fine arts in Zagreb, Croatia from 1893 to 1897, bringing with him the spirit of French art. These new directives are most evident in his landscapes. He then began using a palette of lively and lighter colors using liberated strokes, soft rendering and the introduction of light on the painting canvas.

His departure from Prague resulted in a complete change of personality for Bukovac. He felt satisfaction and enthusiasm in Zagreb that he had not felt in a while, and began to dedicate all of his energy to his new students, one of which was noted Croatian painter Mirko Racki. It was in this time he introduced pointillism to the Prague Academy, and earned his historical reputation as an excellent pedagogue.

Besides being an artist who followed the established canons dictated by the Salon and the general public, he followed his own inner impulses of artistic creation. Liberated artistic expression, which was called Impressionism, developed in the spirit of the artists who kept gathering in modernism-oriented marginal galleries in Paris in the 1870s. He knew the spirit of academism and, on the other hand, he felt the spirit of Impressionistic freedom.

Vlaho Bukovac's painting "Une fleur" sold at Bonhams in London in 2006 for $200,000. The auction house identified the painting as Reclining Nude.

Art Movement: Impressionism
Influences: Alexandre Cabanel
Traveled: France, England, Chile, Peru, USA, Czech
Influenced: Mirko Racki

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