Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe

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Jakopič, Rihard

  • SlovenianVisual arts
  • VIAF ID:
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  • Social category:
    Painters, sculptors, architects
  • Title:
    Jakopič, Rihard
  • Title2:
    Jakopič, Rihard
  • Text:

    The painter Rihard Jakopič (Ljubljana 1869 – Ljubljana 1943) was the leading Slovenian artist of the first half of the 20th century. Born into a well-off merchant family, he left school early and devoted himself to painting. After studies at the Vienna and Munich Academies of Fine Arts (1887-90), he trained with the Art Nouveau painter Anton Ažbe in Munich, and at the Prague Academy under Vojtěch Hynais. In 1900 he settled in Ljubljana, where he was among the founders of the Slovenian Art Society and the organizers of the First Slovenian Art Exhibition (Ljubljana, 1900). As his impressionistic paintings were harshly criticized by the conservative Slovenian public, he tried to obtain recognition among more like-minded circles both at home and abroad. As a member of the progressive Sava Club and as an independent painter he exhibited his paintings in the Miethke Salon in Vienna (1904), in the Vienna Secession (1905, 1906, 1912), in Belgrade (1904), London (1906), Sofia (1906), Warsaw (1908), Rome (1911), Paris (1919), and elsewhere. The successes of the exhibitions (especially in Vienna in 1904) only slowly convinced the Slovenian public.

    Between 1907 and 1914 Jakopič ran a private painting school. In the exhibition grounds of Ljubljana’s Tivoli Park, where in 1909 he had built his own “Jakopič Pavilion”, he organized annual exhibitions between 1909 and 1923, including the Third Slovenian Art Exhibition (1909) and the first historical survey of Slovenian painting (1910). After the establishment of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians in 1918, he (unsuccessfully) proposed the creation of a Slovenian academy of fine arts, and laid foundations for the Slovenian Museum of Modern Art and Academy of Fine Arts, which were formally established shortly after his death.

    Using an impressionist and post-impressionist style (his landscapes were influenced by the Barbizon school), Jakopič strove to instil in all his paintings a Slovenian atmosphere or character. In the years following the onset of epilepsy in 1906 he painted mostly intimate interior scenes from his private life with stronger realistic tones, and in 1907 he started the “Teutonic Knights’ Church” series: the dome of the Baroque church as seen from his studio window, captured at various times of the year and of the day. After 1925 his painting shows the influence of expressionism, turning to figural motives with strong humanitarian symbolism.

    Word Count: 361

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  • Albrecht, Fran (ed.); Jakopičev jubilejni zbornik (Ljubljana: Tiskovna zadruga, 1929).

    Brejc, Tomaž; Slovenski impresionisti in evropsko slikarstvo (Ljubljana: Partizanska knjiga, 1982).

    Brejc, Tomaž; Temni modernizem: Slike, teorije, interpretacije (Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 1991).

    Podbevšek, Anton; Rihard Jakopič (Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 1983).

    Stele, France; Slovenski impresionisti (Ljubljana: Državna založba Slovenije, 1970).

    Trobec Zadnik, Dragica (ed.); Rihard Jakopič: To sem jaz, umetnik: Življenje in delo (Ljubljana: Narodna galerija, 1993).

    Žerovc, Beti; Rihard Jakopič: Umetnik in strateg (Ljubljana: Založba, 2002).

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    All articles in the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe edited by Joep Leerssen are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://www.spinnet.eu.

    © the author and SPIN. Cite as follows (or as adapted to your stylesheet of choice): Vidmar, Luka, 2022. "Jakopič, Rihard", Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe, ed. Joep Leerssen (electronic version; Amsterdam: Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms, https://ernie.uva.nl/), article version, last changed 20-04-2022, consulted 27-09-2023.