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Public Monuments of Rudolf Valdec

Enes Quien ; Akademija likovnih umjetnosti, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 14.644 Kb

str. 69-122

preuzimanja: 1.489



This article elaborates on public monuments of the sculptor Rudolf Valdec (March
8, 1872, Krapina – February 1, 1929, Zagreb) who is, along with Robert Frangeš –
Mihanović, the first Croatian modern sculptor. The paper provides an outline of works
created after a brief period upon completion of education in Munich and Vienna, in the
period from 1899 when he made his first public monument to the poet Antun Nemčić
in Križevci, followed by the monument to Dragutin Milivoj nob. Domjanić from 1905,
herms of Ivana Kukuljević – Sakcinski and Ivan Mažuranić from 1910 i.e. 1911, public
monuments in the form of portrait medallions to a composer Ferdo Livadić and to the
mayor Ljudevit Šmidhen from 1902 i.e. 1913 located in Samobor, monuments to Dositej
Obradović in Belgrade from 1911 and monument to Bulgarian Duke and General Radko
Hadži Dimitriev of Sliven from 1912. Knowing some of the monuments such as
those of the Bulgarian Duke and General Dimitriev, which were previously unknown,
is the result of research from the archives and from old periodicals that refer to it.
However, the others are not only famous, but also anthological, like the first and rare
freestanding sculpture, monument of Serbian educator from the 18th century, Dositej
Obradović, which was never analyzed. In these reliefs (Ferdo Livadić and Ljudevit
Šmidhen) and full plastics, the sculptor proved modeling skills, confirming the fact
that he was well trained regarding craft and technique. He also proved thoroughness
of education at the Wienna K. K. Kunstgewerbeschule des Österreichischen Museums
für Kunst und Industrie (in the class of August Kühn) and at Königliche Bayerische
Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich (class of professor Syriusa Eberlea). Besides
iconographic curiosity, those reliefs and full plastics resolved fundamental plastic
problems, tightened the sculptural morphology and syntax, and finally, executed a
transformation of masonry – which was, until the appearance of Valdec, traditionally
developed in Zagreb - to professional creative sculpture, because Valdec was the first
trained sculptor in Zagreb who obtained his education abroad. In addition, he introduced
the secession of the sculpture in Zagreb, which he became acquainted with in
Vienna and Munich, the cities where he was educated, and which were the very center
of the Secession movement, from 1897 until the beginning of World War I in 1914,
when the sculptor worked in Secession style, followed by his return to realism and
naturalism. Reviewed works in this article are crafted in Secession style with realistic
portraits. Valdec discovered formal means which corresponded with the European
styling features and effectively mediated between his creative worldviews and the
public, due to the fact that his lexis is simple, concise, understandable to everyone
and consequently functio-nal. Public monuments were created alongside with numerous
master’s portraits, gravestones and architectural decorative allegories which he
Enes Quien:Javni spomenici Rudolfa Valdeca / Public Monuments of Rudolf Valdec
Radovi Zavoda za znanstveni rad HAZU Križevci; br. 1, 2014., str. 75 - 128
crafted intensively in his relatively short life time and artistic activity (he died of a pulmonary
embolism at the age of 57). Some of those public monuments are known only
by archival photographs, like the one of Bulgarian General Dimitriev. Others are all
materialized and modeled in clay and subsequently casted in plaster, then in bronze
or carved in stone (Kukuljević - Sakcinski and Mažuranić), while the pedestals are, of
course, made of stone. Many Valdec’s works have disappeared. However, public monuments
were all set up as agreed. The exception is once again the monument in the
Bulgarian town Sliven that was never completed due to the outbreak of the First World
War. His above stated known works are cast in bronze, and have been preserved to the
present day, as well as the works carved in stone.

Ključne riječi

sculptor Rudolf Valdec; the first sculptor in Zagreb educated abroad; public monuments; the sculpture of Secesssion; Realism; The Postament; Skills in Modelation; The Clay; The Plaster; The Bronze; The Stone

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