|Name:||Mato Celestin Medovic|
|Birth Day:||November 17, 1857|
|Death Date:||Jan 20, 1920 (age 62)|
Early Croatian modernist artist whose paintings often depicted historical scenes. Mato Celestin Medovic also painted landscapes and seascapes of his native Dalmatia.
As per our current Database, Mato Celestin Medovic died on Jan 20, 1920 (age 62).
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Mato Celestin Medovic was ordained by the Catholic Church in 1874 after training to become a priest in the Dubrovnik Franciscan Seminary. Mato Celestin Medovic's name became Celestin following his ordination.
Mato Medović was born on 17 November 1857 in Kuna on the Pelješac peninsula into a peasant family. Young Mato got his first education at a nearby Franciscan monastery dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto (Delorita). In 1868, at the age of 11 he joined the Franciscan seminary in Dubrovnik, where he took his vows in 1874, taking the name of Celestin. The artistic talent of the young monk was noticed by Abbot Portoguaro Bernardino, on a visit from Rome. So in 1880, Medović was placed in the monastery of St Isidoro in Rome, known for its Nazarene painters. He was assigned to Lodovico Seitz, an influential artist who painted the frescoes in the Cathedral of Đakovo. However, the rigid and outdated artistic style did not suit Medović, and he looked for a different teacher in Giuseppe Grandi, then in the private school of Antonio Ciseri in Florence.
In 1886, the Franciscan order sent him back to Dubrovnik. However, at the urging of the painter Emil Jakob Schindler, he was sent to continue his studies at the Academy of Arts in Munich. There Medović studied historical genre paintings, particularly the work of Karl von Piloty. He composed large canvases of historical scenes, winning a silver medal in 1893 for his final diploma work "Bacchanal" (Croatian: Bakanal), and successfully exhibited his work in several European cities.
On his return to Dubrovnik in 1893, there seemed no possibility for further artistic progress. Dr Franjo Rački (a founder member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) and Dr Iso Kršnjav (head of the Department of Culture (Croatian: odjela za kulturu)) invited him to Zagreb to join the group of artists around Vlaho Bukovac, a Dubrovnik artist who had recently left Paris and settled in Zagreb. So in 1895 Medović left the Franciscan order and set up a studio in Zagreb. During his stay there (1895–1907) he painted many religious works in northern Croatian churches (Križevci, Požega, Nova Gradiška) and historical compositions based on Croatian history, most notably those in the Golden Hall (Croatian: Zlatne dvorane) of the Institute of History in Zagreb. Medović also painted a series of portraits of Zagreb people using fragmented lines, soft contours and vibrant colours.
In 1898, Medović had a house and studio built in Kuna, and a villa on the coast at Crkvice. He began to spend increasing amounts of time there, painting nature. In 1901, he held a group exhibit with Oton Iveković, in which he presented his entire Zagreb works. Until 1907 Medović was kept busy with government works in Zagreb and exhibited with other Croatian artists in Budapest, Copenhagen, Paris, Prague, Belgrade, Sofia and Zagreb.
After 1908, Medović gave up his Zagreb studio entirely and remained on the Pelješac peninsula, living alone and painting. His subjects were taken from the nature around him, still lifes of fruit and fish, seascapes, and landscapes, filled with colour, light and soft shadows. His seascapes are studies of light playing on the open sea, breaking waves or a moonlit night.
After a few years Medović grew tired of the isolation from other artists, and for a short time worked in Vienna (1912–1914). In 1914 he held an exhibition, where he sold all his paintings. At the start of the First World War he again went back to Kuna where the harsh living conditions took their toll on his health. By the end of the war Medović was suffering from renal disease and in late December 1919 he sought help at a hospital in Sarajevo, but too late. He died on 20 January 1920, and was laid to rest in the cemetery in Kuna.
Medovic's painting of "Pelješko - korčulanski kanal", 1908-1912 appeared on a Croatian Post Office stamp in 1996.
Currently, Mato Celestin Medovic is 163 years, 5 months and 24 days old. Mato Celestin Medovic will celebrate 164th birthday on a Wednesday 17th of November 2021.
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