In Zagreb tomorrow?
On Friday, December 22, 2017, the Museum of Arts and Crafts will proudly host an 11:00 am ceremony and mini-lecture to highlight the new arrival and showing of the Andrija Medulic oil painting from the Croatian born artist, known as the “Madonna and Child.” “The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA) is thrilled that the painting is prominently displayed at a Zagreb Museum,” says John Kraljic, NFCA Vice President from the New York City area. The presence of Dr. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Croatia’s Minister of Culture and the Mayor of Zagreb, Mr. Milan Bandić have been confirmed to attend this special event on Friday.
Andrija Medulic, also known as Andrea Schiavone, son of a garrison commander near Venetian ruled-Zadar born around 1510, ended up in Venice to be well trained in fresco, panel painting and etching. By 1540, he was well known and an established painter and was commissioned by Girgio Vasari to paint a large battle picture. He was supposedly influenced and maybe even trained by the artist Parmigianino and was definitely influenced by mannerism. Medulic, by the 1550’s, achieved quite a status within the golden age of painting in the Venetian Republic with his own brand of the synthesis of elements and has even been compared by some to Raphael.
For a few months during the spring of 2016, there was an extraordinary Andrea Schiavone exhibit at Museum Correr in Venice. This monographic exhibition showed over 80 of his works, paintings and drawings. The exhibit was a big hit and a lot more art lovers learned first-hand through this outstanding exhibit about another of the talented artists from the Renaissance era in Venice.
Miroslav Gasparovic, Director at the Museum of Arts and Crafts (MUO), was pleasantly surprised to get a call to gauge their interest in having an Andrija Medulic painting on display for a few years. The Museum located at Trg Hrvaske 10 was founded in 1880 and was originally devised to create a collection of models for master craftsmen and artists to reinvigorate the production of everyday arts and crafts. Today the Museum has over 100,000 items of fine and applied arts from the 14th to the 21st century. The MUO library with a reading room has more than 65,000 volumes of books and journals and is one of the finest in Europe with the focus on fine arts and crafts. The Museum just recently ended a four month exhibit of the “Baroque Splendor of Venice: Tiepolo and Contemporaries.”
Dr. Dinko Podrug, a serious art collector and Chairman of the NFCA Artwork Donations Committte, now living in Manahattan, was the catalyst who donated this painting to the Croatian American organization and found the right Zagreb Museum to showcase it. “Croatia deserves a Andrija Medulic painting and so it’s so fitting we have found the right space for one to be seen by Croatians in the capital city,” says Dr. Podrug.
The Andrija Medulic painting known in Croatian as “Bogorodica s djetetom” is another worthwhile reason to make the trip to the Museum of Arts and Crafts in the near future.