Latest NSK Exhibition: “Andrija Medulić Schiavone Among the Treasures of the NSK Print Collection”

Objavljeno 2.9.2016.

Andrija Medulić Schiavone Among the Treasures of the NSK Print Collection, the latest exhibition of the National and University Library in Zagreb, opened on 1 September 2016 in the Print Collection Reading Room and shall remain on view until 30 September 2016.

The exhibition, which marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski, one of the most distinguished figures in Croatia’s 19th-centruy history and leaders of the Illyrian Movement, will feature fifteen valuable prints from Slovnik umjetnikah jugoslavenskih, a lexicon of artists from South Slavic countries which Kukuljević compiled between 1858 and 1860. The prints, which in his lexicon Kukuljević ascribed to the 16th-century Croatian-Italian painter and printmaker Andrija Medulić (Andrea Schiavone; Andrea Meldolla), are part of the Christ and the Apostles series and date, most probably, from the period between 1548 and 1550. Apart from the prints, exhibition visitors will also be able to see Kukuljević’s Slovnik, which is accessible online on the website of the Bavarian State Library.

Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski was a Croatian politician, historian, writer and bibliographer. He fervently pursued his interests in historiography, archival science, bibliography, literary history, epigraphy, establishing many institutions related to these disciplines, and he made particularly significant academic contributions to lexicography and art history. He spent a lot of time in Venice, Vienna and Budapest, visiting local libraries to study relevant resources related to his interests. As one of the first researchers in Croatia’s art history, and beyond, Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski was well aware of the need for the compilation of the first national biographical and bibliographical lexicon. Thus from 1858 to 1860 he published five volumes of Slovnik umjetnikah jugoslavenskih, the first such Croatian art history-related lexicon.

The most extensive biography in this lexicon is that of Andrija Medulić. Kukuljević derived the last name Medulić from the surname of the Italian family Meldolla, which came to settle in Zadar from Forlì, an Italian municipality, while the nickname Schiavone was added by Medulić himself. Medulić made oil paintings on both canvases and wooden panels, frescoes, drawings and prints featuring biblical, mythological and allegorical content. His etchings and etchings made in combination with drypoint, a technique which Medulić was among the first to adopt in Italy, are strongly marked by experimenting and spontaneous drawing.