|Kristian KrekoviŠ (1901-1985), distinguished Croatian painter born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since the end of 2008 has a web site www.kristiankrekovic.com dedicated to his life and work. It was launched by the Associtiation of Friends of the Krekovic Museum in Palma de Mallorca in Spain. Among his numerous portraits, we can find those of Mahatma Gandhi, Queen Mother, King Gustav V, and many others.|
KrekoviŠ's autoportrait. Source of the photo: www.kristiankrekovic.com
Croatian artist, born in the village of Koprivna near Tuzla in Bosnia - Herzegovina, in the family of forester from Croatian region of Lika, died in Palma de Mallorca. He studied in Vienna and Paris, and already since 1928 was a member of the French Society of Visual Arts. The same year he was awarded the gold medal in Bordeaux (Exhibition of international art). Krekovic portrayed many ministers, statesmen, and outstanding persons like
(that is, Present and past of the fabulous Peru) in
In the course of Krekovic's first exhibition in the USA (held in New York) he was described as "Yugoslav painter". Krekovic did not permit such misrepresentation, and warned the organizers that he would not allow the exhibition to go on if he were not described as Croatian-peruvian painter. He succeeded, despite the protests from the embassy of ex-Yugoslavia.
It is not surprising that he is often described as Croatian born Peruvian artist, or as Poeta de la pintura. Krekovic signed himself as pintor croata or pintor croata-peruano. His grand exhibition of ethnographic paintings held in 1954 in Lima, was opened by the president of the state.
In 1966 the famous Peruvian city of Cuzco (or Cusco), the old capital of The Inca Empire and "The archaeological capital of South America", conceded him honorary citizenship and the Gold medal of the city.
Since 1965 he settled in Palma de Mallorca, where in 1977 he built the Museum of Palma de Mallorca with his works of art, now known as Museu Krekovic (Collecci├│n Pintor Krekovic). The Krekovic Museum was officially opened in 1981 by the Spanish Queen Sophia. In the guestbook she wrote:
The Spanish Queen is also the honorary president of Krekovic's gallery.
Mahatma Gandhi, who was a personal friend of Kristian Krekovic (see [Gaspar Sabater, pp. 38 and 54]), wrote the following:
El sentimiento de Kristian Krekovic hacia el mundo es ├║nico. Impregna todo su arte e impregna con extraordinario creatividad y constructivo car├ícter.
Manuel Vegas Castillo, Director of Culture of the Peruvian Ministry of Education:
Kristian Krekovic, the Croatian-born artist, has dedicated his life and his Art to the fabulous Empire of Incas, Pre-Incas and present day Hispano-American Folklore, with such prodigality of love and truth, art and knowledge, force and sensuality, sacrifice and perseverance, the likes of which have never been equaled by any other painter in the artistic history of America.
BARCELONA; "La Vnaguardia Espanola": Juan Coret├ęs, 1957.
"...as sensational, without any exaggeration, can be qualified the exhibition brought to us by the Croatian-born Peruvian artist Kristian Krekovic. His, for the most part monumental paintings are masterly and complicated composition, with absolutely perfect drawing, masterly treatment of chiaroscuro and brilliant and luminous palette...".
The above two texts are taken from the prospect Krekovic Collection, Palma de Mallorca (many thanks to Mr. Vladimir Novak for this and related materials).
Es uno de los m├ís grandes pintores de todos los tiempos.
Krekovic used Croatian Glagolitic script in daily correspondence with his friend Marko Dosen (president of Croatian Parliament during the WWII period), as was the custom also in his family during his childhood. His wife was Sina, a Frenchwoman who mastered Croatian language perfectly, using many Croatian expressions and words already expelled during the Yugoslav period. Born in Paris in 1910, daughter of outstanding surgeon, she spoke also Quechua, Catalonian, Spanish, Italian, German (studied piano at the Vienna Conservatory), French, Russian, and English. Krekovic dreamed about free Croatia, and to start again working on his Croatian cycle, but he died too early. It is worth mentioning that in 2002 Javier Bizarro Bentitz won the prestigious "Premio de Poesia Antonio Machado" with his poem Los fantasmas del Parque Kristian Krekovic, among 154 other works.
We mention the monograph Kristian Krekovic. El artista y su obra (1997) written by Gaspar Sabater and published in Spain. The Master thesis (M├ęmoire de Maitrise) under the title Kristian Krekovic was defended by Ingeborg M├Âller Rizo at Universidad Cluny Espana (CLUNY ISEIT) in 1974., based on personal interviews with Sina Krekovic, wife of Kristian Krekovic.
Espacio dedicado exclusivamente a la exposici├│n de la obra del artista croata Kristian Krekovic, instalado en Mallorca desde 1965 hasta su muerte en 1985. Presenta adem├ís algunas piezas de artesan├şa popular de Per├║, pa├şs donde tambi├ęn residi├│ el pintor.
"Poeta de la pintura" llam├│ a Eulogio D├şaz del Corral el pintor croata Kristian Krekovic.
A detail from 1931 portrait of Mahatma Gandhi by Kristian KrekoviŠ made in his atelier in Paris. There was a deep friendship among them. Source of the photo:
Kristian Krekovic with Pope Paul VI in the Vatican, 1972, bringing his gifts. Pope Paul VI especially liked portraits of Virgin Mary with Jesus. Source of the photo: www.kristiankrekovic.com
Virgin Mary with Jesus, surrounded with angels representing all human races. Source of the photo: www.kristiankrekovic.com
The author of these lines believed that this is KrekoviŠ's portrait of Queen Mother of England (1900-2002), made in 1938 upon her request. However, due to kindness of Lady Jadranka Njer╣ Beresford Peirse from GB I learned that this is certainly not the case. So it remains as an open question who is the lady with the crown that KrekoviŠ portrayed.
├é┬áSource of the photo: www.kristiankrekovic.com
Tryptich for the Anglican Church in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. KrekoviŠ on the right. Source of the photo: www.kristiankrekovic.com
King Gustav Vth at the age of 90, portrayed by Kristian KrekoviŠ in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1948. Source of the photo: www.kristiankrekovic.com
Another portrait by Kristian KrekoviŠ. Who is this boy?
Portrait of a son of August Schmitz, Sweden 1948, by Kristian KrekoviŠ. See here.
KrekoviŠ's autoportrait, Cuzco, Peru 1950. Note Croatian and Peruvian Coats of Arms side by side. We recommend you to view this nice portrait at the distance of about 2 meters from the screen. Source of the photo: www.kristiankrekovic.com
My deep gratitude to Association Amigos del Museo Krekovic in Palma de Mallorca, for providing these important photos on their web dedicated to life and work of Kristian KrekoviŠ. He is often called pintor croata - peruano, that is, Croatian - Peruvian painter.
Gaspar Sabater: Kristian Krekovic, el artista i su obra [PDF], Consell de Mallorca, Departement de Cultura, 2009 digital edition by the Association de Amigos del Museo Krekovic, 80 pp monograph about the painter, published in Spanish.
Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko «ubriniŠ
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