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Ivana Kobilca (1870-1900) | Realist / Genre painter

Ivana Kobilca (20 December 1861 - 4 December 1926) is the most prominent Slovene female painter🎨 and a key figure of Slovene cultural identity.
She was a realist painter who studied and worked in Vienna, Munich, Paris, Sarajevo, Berlin and Ljubljana.
She mostly painted oil paintings and pastels, whereas her drawings are few. The themes include still life, portraits, genre works, allegories and religious scenes.
She was a controversial person, criticised for following movements that had not developed further in later periods.
Ivana Kobilca was born in Ljubljana as a daughter in a wealthy family of a crafstman. Her parents gave great emphasis on education. At first, she learned how to draw, but also French and Italian, in the Ursuline High School in her home town, where her teacher of drawing was Ida Künl. When she was 16, she went with her father to Vienna, where she saw the paintings of old masters that inspired her.



From 1879-1880, she studied in Vienna, where she copied the paintings at the gallery of the Academy of Arts, and from 1880-1881 in Munich.
From 1882-1889, she continued her studies under Alois Erdtelt.
In 1888, she participated for the first time in a public exhibition. At the following exhibition in Munich, her work was spotted and praised by the prominent German art historian Richard Muther and then returned to Ljubljana.
In 1890, she painted in Zagreb.
In 1891 and 1892, she painted in Paris in the private school of Henri Gervex.
She became an honorary member (membre associée) of Société Nationale des Beaux Arts.
In 1892, she also painted in Barbizon.
In 1893, she returned to Ljubljana, visited Florence in 1894, and lived in Sarajevo from 1897-1905.
From 1906-1914, she lived in Berlin, and then returned to Ljubljana. At the time of her death in 1926 in Ljubljana, she was described as the greatest Yugoslav female painter.




  • Works and meanings
Judging by her social origin, way of living, ideals and work, she was an urban artist. She is one of Slovene realists, who created their most important paintings in the 1880s.
Kobilca's greatest tribute to Slovenian art was made during the time she lived abroad.
Her greatest impact was on figural painting, especially portraits and paintings of typical people's lives in rustic or urban places. Since the time she had spent in Berlin, her most important genre became floral still life.
Her early work reflects characteristics of München studio-work.
The main colors are dark and brownish, only the pastels are light and rosy.
From 1889 onwards her painting became lighter with blue nuances, typical for Parisian art at the time.
From here on, many artists took the next step that led into Impressionism, but Ivana Kobilca did not.
In the latest period of her work, her ability to create fresh and interesting paintings started to fade. With some exceptions, her works of that period are dull and impersonal.
Kobilca's best known paintings are:
Her work is on display at all major European galleries. | © Wikipedia































"Volevo vedere tutto e guardare dietro ogni tenda.
E oggi non ho rimpianti.
Ho visto il mondo e la vita, è stato bello e pieno di sole.
 Non ho rimpianti" - Ivana Kobilca

Ivana Kobilca (Lubiana, 20 dicembre 1861 - Lubiana, 4 dicembre 1926) è la più importante pittrice🎨 Slovena ed una figura chiave dell’identità culturale della Slovenia.
Fu una pittrice realista che studiò e lavorò nelle maggiori città europee di fine ottocento, tra queste Vienna, Sarajevo, Berlino, Parigi e Monaco di Baviera.

A Parigi la Kobilca frequentò la scuola di Henri Gervex, uno dei pittori più apprezzati di fine Ottocento, amico di Manet🎨, Zola, Rodin🎨 e Maupassant.
Divenne membro onorario (membre associée) della Société Nationale des Beaux Arts.
Dopo la Francia si spostò verso sud, passando un po’ di tempo a Firenze e poi a Sarajevo. Infine, Berlino, dove rimase fino al 1914.
Lo scoppio della Prima Guerra Mondiale coincise con il ritorno della Kobilca a Lubiana, allora una città in piena trasformazione culturale e sociale.
Dipinse soprattutto a olio e con i pastelli mentre i suoi disegni sono pochi. I temi includono nature morte, ritratti, opere di genere, allegorie e scene religiose.
È stata contraddittoria e criticata perché seguiva movimenti che non si sviluparrono ulteriormente nei periodi seguenti.
Dopo che la Slovenia ha dichiarato la sua indipendenza dalla Yugoslavia Kobilca è stata ritratta da Rudi Španzel sulla banconota da 5000 tolar sloveni. È stata in circolazione dal dicembre 1993 fino all’introduzione dell’euro nel gennaio 2007.










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