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Two drawings by Franjo Kopač in Solin

Arsen Duplančić orcid id

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 17.618 Kb

str. 143-161

preuzimanja: 128



In 1926 the artistic community of Split between the two World Wars was joined by the painter Franjo Kopač. He was born on 1 February 1926 in Nova Vas near Žir in Slovenia. Having completed his education in Vienna and Prague, he met Vlaho Bukovac, was conscripted, and after numerous obstacles, made his way to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. He got employment as teacher of drawing, firstly in the Grammar School in Kruševac, and
then in Kranj, from where, in 1926, he was moved by state decree to the State Girls General-Curriculum Grammar School (Državna ženska realna gimnazija; Realschule) in Split. At that time the School was housed in the Classical Curriculum Grammar School building, and the School Master was the reputed professor and culture activist, Dušan Manger. Kopač was employed as a Teacher of Skills, and taught drawing. From the period of time of the Kopač’s employment in Solin, preserved are two drawings showing a gathering of the teachers in Solin in 1932. They are in a horizontally oriented notepad. At its second page there is drawing of teachers at a table. It is signed at bottom right: Solin 24/VI. 1932 Franjo Kopač. At the third page there is drawing of two teachers and a stricken out unfinished image of a third person. It is also signed at bottom right: Solin 26/VI. Franjo Kopač, but not stating the year. We assume it is from the same year. The drawings are sketchy, with some caricature quality, a part of the images are unrecognisable, and there are no names stated with either of them. However, next to some of them Kopač wrote «keys» enabling their identification. Next to the leftmost male image written is Higijena (Hygiene) wherefore this is certainly Dr. Mario Selem, the School Polyclinics physician who taught Hygiene. Next to him is a female person next to which is small bottle with the inscription JOD TIN, which is the «attribute» of Dr. Vesna Sikimić, born Smodlaka (*1903). In the school year 1931-1932 she was a substitute teacher, teaching Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. Left of her is another female image holding a glass in her left hand. Above her is the inscription ŽENSKO PRAVO (women’s right), indicating this is Antica Juras, born Ljubić (1899-1967), who taught Biology. She was the secretary of the Danica Catholic Women Educational Society in Split (Katoličko žensko prosvjetno društvo Danica). One source states her as a co-founder of the Society for Protection of Girls (Društvo za zaštitu djevojaka), also in Split, and she also wrote a children book. At the head of the table is a female image and above her music notes, indicating this is Olga Petrović (later Tresić-Pavičić), who taught Singing and lead the school choir. At the right in the centre is a balding elderly man with spectacles, beard and moustache. By comparison with a photograph of him, we have concluded this is Dušan Manger (1870-1940), the school master and
the City Library director. Upon his arrival to Split, Kopač did not limit his activities to teaching at the Grammar School only, but also intensively painted, especially portraits by which he became well known. He presented himself to the public in the one-man exhibitions in the Salon Galić in Split in the years 1927, 1929 and 1937. Of his «Dalmatian theme» paintings, published are The Port of Split, St. Domnio made after a Lateran mosaic, the portraits of the Rev. Frane
Bulić, the Bishop Kvirin Klement Bonefačić and Dr. Ivo Tartaglia, a copy of the Our Lady of Sorrow after a painting in the Split Cathedral, and The Assumption of Mary in the St. Anthony’s church at Čiovo. The portrait of the Rev. Frane Bulić has had an interesting destiny. Originally it was almost twice as long showing the bronze bust of Minerva (disappeared) presented to him by his fellow teachers when he was forcedly retired for political reasons in 1896. Today preserved is just the right hand side part of the painting, showing Rev. Bulić. Here the catalogue of the Kopač’s works is added four paintings kept in Split: Ss. Cyril
and Methodius, St. John the Evangelist, The Last Communion of St. Jerome and Christ of 1911, from the period of the painter’s studies in Prague. Also published is the iconographically interesting drawing, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, in possession of the painter’s grand-daughter in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Besides painting his own paintings or copying old ones, Kopač also engaged in restoration of paintings, several such works being known to us.
Franjo Kopač passed away at the age of 56, on 7 September 1941, after a long illness, and was buried at the Split cemetery.

Ključne riječi

Franjo Kopač; don Frane Bulić; painting; Ženska realna gimnazija; Solin; Split

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