Artworks in the Collection

Petar LUBARDA
Motif from Ulcinj (1936)


“My greatest teacher was, in fact, Montenegro,” one could read in the press of the fifties and the sixties, when Lubarda was at the height of his popularity. His closeness to his homeland was manifested in two ways: thematically, through Montenegrin motifs and through expression, which originated from the fundamental characteristics of the austere and magnificent nature of that region, transposed into a visual language with which Lubarda achieved that specific dramatic character and rusticity of expression in his painting. Lubarda frequently painted seaside motifs, especially in 1935 and 1936. However, there are noticeable stylistic changes in this thematic unit which clearly separate the aforementioned dates. While canvases from the 1935 were dominated by a uniform shimmering of grayish-green areas shaded in warm tones and interconnected by a fine network of lines (Dubrovnik), in the canvases from 1936, as we can see in the Motif from Ulcinj, the facture became denser, the strokes freer, the contrasts stronger, light was no longer spread across the entire area, but instead merged with the colours, creating a colouristic accent. Done according to the painting inside a painting principle, this canvas has the same compositional structure as Ljubotinj, and the white house in the background, characteristic of Lubarda’s Montenegrin landscapes from those years (Scene from Ulcinj, Dawn Breaking, White Palace), appears as the most densely materialized section of the painting and the finishing accent in a light-dark scale. In the fifties, it was to become the leitmotif of his associative landscapes, at the time only present as a pure visual symbol (Landscape above Bogetić). The psychological equivalent of this visual expression is the male figure in the foreground, which sublimates Lubarda’s emotional ties to his homeland and the character of people of his origin.

Petar Lubarda