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Iso Kršnjavi and the Equipping of Đakovo Cathedral
; Odsjek za povijest umjetnosti Filozofskog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Puni tekst: pdf (581 KB),
Str. 195 - 219
The influence of the first Croatian professional historian of art, Iso Kršnjavi, on Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer of Đakovo regarding the equipping of Đakovo Cathedral, the biggest sacral newly built building of Croatian historicism, was very great. Their intense social contact started at the end of 1874 in Rome and continued until 1884, when they broke off all contact because of political circumstances and Kršnjavi’s support for the new government of Ban Khuen Hedervary.
As the architecture of Đakovo Cathedral was mostly finished before the mid-1870s, Kršnjavi could have influenced the bishop only in matters of the internal arrangement of this building. He showed himself to be a persistent intercessor for the employment of Slavic and Croatian artists on the cathedral: sculptors Ivan Rendić and Josip Plančić, and painters Ferdo Kikerec, Vojtěch Hynais, Henrik Siemiradski, Jaroslav Čermak, Jan Matejko and Wilhelm Kotarbinski. He was also an excellent intermediary between the bishop and the circle of Austrian architects and artists who at that time worked for Đakovo (Friedrich Schmidt, Herman Bollé and Georga Feuerstein), as well as a key person in the popularisation of Strossmayer’s endeavour in the daily and professional press, both in Croatian-speaking and in German-speaking areas. In some of his efforts he achieved a certain success – as was the case with recommending sculptors – while in others he did not – as was the case with recommending Slavic painters. The aforementioned Slavic painters had an approach based on academic realism, which Strossmayer did not like, and so he gave the painting of all the ceilings of his cathedral church to Roman painters of German origin, father and son Alexander Maximillian and Ludovicu Seitzu, who followed the tradition of the Nazarenes.
In his attempts to employ some artists on Đakovo Cathedral, Kršnjavi saw an opportunity for furthering the “revival,” that is, the flourishing of Croatian art, a task that he was to continue later when he became the principal (minister) of the Department for Liturgy and Education of the Croatian government. The greatest success that he achieved connected to work on Đakovo Cathedral was certainly bringing the architect Herman Bollé, one of the cooperators of Friedrich Schmidt, to Zagreb; he was later to play a key role in spreading the neo-Gothic style in Croatia, as well as in the foundation of the Artisan school.
Josip Juraj Strossmayer; Iso Kršnjavi; Đakovo Cathedral; historicism; Hermann Bollé; Friedrich von Schmidt
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