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 »  Home  »  Events  »  Kristian Krekovic connecting India and Croatia via his 1936 portrait of Mahatma Gandhi
 »  Home  »  Education  »  Kristian Krekovic connecting India and Croatia via his 1936 portrait of Mahatma Gandhi
 »  Home  »  Culture And Arts  »  Kristian Krekovic connecting India and Croatia via his 1936 portrait of Mahatma Gandhi
 »  Home  »  Religion  »  Kristian Krekovic connecting India and Croatia via his 1936 portrait of Mahatma Gandhi
Kristian Krekovic connecting India and Croatia via his 1936 portrait of Mahatma Gandhi
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  12/26/2019 | Events , Education , Culture And Arts , Religion | Unrated
Kristian Krekovic portrayed Mahatma Gandhi, Queen Mother, the Swedish King Gustav V, etc.

Presenting the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi to Mr. Jitendra Nath Majhi (on the right),
advisor and envoy of H.E. Mr. Arindam Bagchi, the Ambassador of the Republic of India to Croatia.
On the left Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar, president of the Croatian - Indian Society in Zagreb, and in the middle
Darko Žubrinić, president of the Society of the Friends of the Glagolitic Script, Zagreb.
Sitting behind them is Mr. Robert Bulat, secretary of the Croatian - Indian Society.


Distinguished Croatian painter Kristian Kreković (1901-1985) portrayed Mahatma Gandhi in his atelier in Paris in 1936, while Gandhi was meditating there. The portrait is kept in the Gallery of Kreković (Museu Kreković) in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Two panneaus containing Ghandi's portrait have been presented in Dec 2019 to the Embassy of India in Zagreb and to the Croatian - Indian Society. This was a gift of the Society of the Friends of the Glagolitic Script, and the solemn event took place in the Napredak hall in Zagreb, during the intercofessional Christmas meeting organized by the Croatian - Indian Society, directed by Mr Joginder Singh Nijjar.


The paneau donated to the Croatian - Indian Society, Zagreb, and its president Mr. Joginder Singh Nijjar, on the left.
We express our gratitude to Mr. Edo Kadić, Zagreb, for participating in technical preparation of the paneaus.

Dedication written in French in the middle of the portrait:


A Mahatma Gandhi
apotre de nonviolence
Kristian Kreković
Paris 1936

To Mahatma Gandhi | apostle of nonviolence | Kristian Kreković | Paris 1936.


Kristian Kreković (1901 - 1985) is a great name in the history of Croatian visual art. He was born in the village Koprivna, near Modriča in Bosnia and Herzegovina (near Modriča) and died in Palma de Mallorca where today stands Museu Kreković. The gallery, governed by Spanish authorities, was ceremoniously opened in 1981 by the Spanish Queen Sofia in the presence of representatives of the Spanish government. The Queen is the honorary president of the Gallery. It features 150 monumental works, 50 in each of the three halls.

Some art critics like for example Camille Mauclair, think of him as the greatest portrayer of the 20th century. The city of Paris published in 1928 a collection of postcards with his works, some of which were featuring motives from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Among others, he portrayed Mahatma Gandhi (1936) who was his personal friend, the British Queen Mother (1938) at her request, the Swedish king Gustav V. (1948), etc. He is the author of the Croatian cycle of 143 monumental paintings dedicated to Croatian history, including 63 portraits of Croatian rulers, from Porga (620) to Stjepan Tomašević (i.e. the fall of Bosnia in 1463). Unfortunately, these portraits are lost, except for several photographies.


A detail from 1936 portrait of Mahatma Gandhi by Kristian Kreković made in his atelier in Paris.
There was a deep friendship among them.


He is most renowned for his huge opus dedicated to the history and present of Peru, in which he registered authentic characters from Peruvian Andes in old, picturesque folk costumes. Grand exhibition entitled Obra Peruana de Kristian Kreković (Peruvian Opus of K. Kreković) was opened in the City Hall in Lima, in 1954, during an unprecedented ceremony, by the president of Peru, granting him Peruvian citizenship. Peruvian government sponsored the exhibition Presente y pasado del fabuloso Peru (Present and past of the fabulous Peru), which was, in several years, hosted in many cities of the USA and Europe. For example, in Washington, at the Smithsonian Institution, the exhibition was seen by 126.000 visitors during two summer months in 1955! The exhibition which took place in Vienna, in 1958, in the former royal palace Neue Hofburg, has been attended by the Austrian president.

Kreković often signed his works as pintor croata or pintor croata peruano. His most famous work is the Exodus of the twentieth century, the message of which is powerfully humane. It also describes his destiny of a displaced person after 1946, for which reason he has never again visited Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is the honorable citizen of the Peruvian city Cuzco, old capital of the Inca Empire, and the city also named a street after him. In Palma de Mallorca, apart from the gallery bearing his name, there is also a Parc de Kristian Kreković (Parque Kreković), one of the prettiest in the city. In Tuzla, where Kreković went to high school, since 1990s there is a street with his name, and the Franciscan monastery has opened Gallery Kristijan Kreković.


Kristian Kreković: Virgin Mary with Jesus, surrounded with angels representing
all human races. Donated to Pope Paul VI in the Vatican, 1972.

His father Roko Kreković was a forester and financial clerk born in Perušić, in Lika. His wife Sina Kreković, born in Paris and of Jewish origin, gave up for him her pianist career. Her knowledge of languages fascinated gallery guests, and she spoke such perfect Croatian that everybody believed that she was Croatian. According to the desire of her deceased husband, Sina Kreković donated her husband's works of art to the Republic of Croatia twice (in 1991 and 1994). The first donation offered in 1991 consisted of 55 drawings, 52 of which were exhibited that same year in the Josip Račić Gallery in Zagreb.

The second donation to Croatia, consisting of 80 oil paintings, has not yet been exhibited (2010). In Croatia, in archives of different galleries there are 135 of his works donated to the Republic of Croatia, and a few in private possession. In 1974, Ingeborg MĂśller Rizo defended her master thesis of a hundred pages under the title Kristian Kreković written in French. In 2006, in Palma de Mallorca, a huge, extravagant photo-monograph was published in Catalan language, entitled Kristian Kreković: La collecion del Museu Kreković (K.K.: Collection of Kreković’s Museum) on 282 pages. Its author Climent Romaguera i Rubi is employee of the Gallery. Somewhat earlier, in 1990, a Spanish photo-monograph was published in Castellano by Gaspar Sabater: Kristian Kreković, el artista y su obra (K.K., artist and his work), on 80 pages, 2nd edition of which was published in 1997.

An elaborate biographical review of Kristian Kreković with an abundance of photographs was published on the Internet at the address www.croatianhistory.net.



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