Artworks in the Collection

Woman with a Straw Hat (1934)

The Zagreb phase lasted from 1933 until the outbreak of war and represented a logical continuation of his work in Paris. As far as themes are concerned, he painted landscapes from the Adriatic coast, still-lifes and rarely portraits. If there was any innovation to speak of, then it was the return of the figure to his canvases, but in the form of a figure en plein-air; namely he decided to paint intimate motifs, in full and direct contact with nature, with light and colour always dominating. Undoubtedly, one representative example of such an interest is the well-known Woman with a Straw Hat. In this painting, for which his wife, Karin, posed, the figure is the central theme, surrounded and enriched by details
of plein-air and still-life. The interesting thing here is Aralica’s consistent choice of a technique close to impressionistic. The origin of this technique could be found in his Parisian motifs, such as the Still-life with a White Jug (1930). From the dense weaving of his relief facture, where the paint was applied in a voluptuous impasto, from what used to be “scrambled eggs” – as a Parisian critic once called it – a system of diagonal strokes evolved, by which the refined light colours were laid down in a clear complementary harmony. The Woman with a Straw Hat represents the most characteristic example of such painting, which could be compared to Renoiresque impressionist paintings. It is clear in the sound, refined and simple, but its harmonious interconnections of red and green, blue and yellow tones, make this painting an exceptional work of art not only in the opus of Stojan Aralica.

Stojan Aralica