Realist painter Vlaho Bukovac, one of the four children to a mother from Dubrovnik and a father of Italian origin (Vlaho's grandfather Giuseppe Faggioni emigrated from Genoa), was born in Cavtat on July 4, 1855.
Even during his early childhood he showed inclination to painting but could not afford to continue his education.
At the age of eleven Vlaho traveled to the United States with his uncle (who died soon after). Vlaho returned to Cavtat in 1871 and embarked as a cadet on a sailing ship.
He landed in Peru in 1873 and worked as a letter drawer in a coach factory till 1876 when he again returned to Cavtat.
Medo Pucić, a poet, recognized Vlaho's talent and recommended him to the archbishop Strossmayer, quite an influential figure in Croatia at the time. In 1877 Vlaho presented Strossmayer with his painting "Turkinja u haremu" (Turkish Woman in Harem) signed with the name Bukovac. All his subsequent works were signed as such.
Aided by Strossmayer's sponsorship, Vlaho soon after enrolled in the École des Beaux Arts. He studied under a well known portrait painter and a representative of the Paris academism, Alexander Cabanel. Vlaho graduated from the program in 1880 and spent the next decade exhibiting in Paris.
In 1892, at the age of 37, he married Jelica Petranovic from Dubrovnik. Jelica and the children frequently modeled for him.
Until he passed away in Prague on April 23, 1922 Vlaho Bukovac painted about 400 portraits and 150+ other paintings.
Generally, Vlaho's work is divided into four periods:
Paris (1877 - 1893)
Vlaho was increasingly turning away from the academism of Cabanel and toward the impressionism. He considered himself a representative of the French modernism.
Zagreb (1893 - 1898)
Vlaho's most active period. He founded the Multicolored school and the Society of Croatian Artists, coinitiated the construction of the Art Pavillion and laid the groundwork for Croatian modernists.
Cavtat (1898 - 1902)
After the conflict with Isidor Krsnjavi (Minister of Culture and Education), Vlaho returned to his native Cavtat.He added a floor on the west side of his house and turned it into an atelier. Here he experimented with the new means of expression and new color solutions.
Prague (1903 - 1922)
Vlaho was a professor at the Academy of Prague. Czech historians of art credit him with being an outstanding pedagogue and for bringing the technique of pointillism to the Academy.
Bukovac House and Gallery
The permanent collection is made up of Bukovac’s works from all the phases of his oevre. A selection of furniture and personal objects are dispersed throughout the other spaces of the house with an eye toward optimal viewing of the newly-discovered wall paintings.
Address: Bukovčeva 5, 20210 Cavtat
Lucija Vuković (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Helena Puhara (email@example.com)
On Sundays: 2 pm to 5 pm
On Sundays: 4 pm to 8 pm
Closed on Mondays.