Croatian artist Mato Celestin Medović was best known as a history painter, creating large, elaborately detailed tableaux of coronations and other events from recent or ancient history. In these he excelled in capturing the kind of subtly rich color and sensitive attention to surfaces and materials for which his contemporary Victorian English painters and French Academic artists were noted.
Though his early education at a Fransciscan monastery near his home eventually led to his early artistic training in Italy, it was later study at the Academy of Arts In Munich that was more in keeping with his initial artistic direction.
In his later career, he left the Franciscan order and lived in Zagreb, where he began to infuse his work with more vibrant color.
In the latter part of his career he returned to his native area on the Pelješac peninsula, where he lived alone and painted subjects uncharacteristic of his earlier work, and of Croatian artists in general at the time — still life, seascapes and landscapes, many of which were smaller and directly from nature.
In these later works Medović experimented with Pointillism and explored the impasto brushwork, short strokes and intense color associated with Impressionism.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find many sources of images by Medović. I learned of his work from the excellent blog of contemporary Croation artist Valentino Radman where I came across his article about a Medović retrospective earlier this year, and found another mention of Medović here. There is also an article mentioning Croatian masters on Radman’s blog with additional images on Underpaintings.
There are few images on Wikimedia Commons and a Wikipedia bio.
I also found this site, which is set in a little frame so small it’s bizarre; I’ve broken out the individual pages for the gallery and bio.
2 Replies to “Mato Celestin Medović”
Charely, thanks for your post on Medovi?. I do think he deserves more recognition, since he was an excellent, but almost unknown artist (outside Croatia).
Btw, the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and the last jpg (top-down) are actually scans from the exhibition catalogue. The rest are pics of the painting taken by me.
For those interested, here is a brief (but not so recently filmed) TV footage on Medovi?
Yes, a great artist indeed, as significant as Vlaho Bukovac.
We were lucky here in Zagreb because this winter there was an exhibition of his masterpieces including the amazing ”Bakanal” (2nd from top).
It was exhibited during The Night Of The Museums, when all croatian museums are open all night for free, so we spent some time there simply enjoying…
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